Château Palmer is named after the English major general, Charles Palmer, who acquired the property in 1814. His objective was to promote his wine within British high society and, to this day, the British remain very fond of it. The vineyard was purchased in 1853 by the Pereire brothers who built the existing château. In the 1855 classification, Palmer stumbled on the podium and was awarded the rank of third Cru Classé. However, it was considered by many to be the best wine in the appellation, until the revival of Château Margaux at the end of the 1970s which sparked the old rivalry again. Today, it belongs to several families, of French, English and Dutch nationality. Harvests are of course manual, and vinification traditional; the grapes from each plot and each variety being vinified in separate vats to bring out their individual characteristics.
After ageing for 20 months, Château Palmer’s wine is worthy of taking its place again, as it does every year, in the very closed circle of Bordeaux’s greatest wines. The subtle balance between aromatic richness and powerful tannins, consistently offered by Palmer’s wines, results in unforgettable nectars, reflecting a blend of grape varieties in which equal proportions of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon give the wines a supple, full-bodied, velvety character. The range of flavours extends from blackcurrants to liquorice, to cherries, flowers and spices.
“A typical Palmer showing finesse alongside strength. I love the blackberry, plum, chocolate and cedar character. It’s very long and beautiful. The velvety, textured tannins are impressive.” – James Suckling
“Now at 20 years old, and absolutely singing, after a sometimes frustratingly slow start to its life. The tannins are ripe but rich and still broad-shouldered, and it will probably still show at its best with a good plate of food to draw out the mouthwatering acidities. Dense, powerful, complex, with a menthol-laced finish, no signs of going anywhere yet. No Petit Verdot in the blend in this vintage, because the then director Bouteiller didn’t feel it was adding to the overall balance achieved by the already rich and concentrated Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. (JA)” – Decanter
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