Chateau Palmer is another Bordeaux wine producer continuing to push the quality envelope. It is the only Margaux property that has a track record of producing better wine than their famous First Growth neighbor, Chateau Margaux. Starting with 2004, the first vintage produced with the efforts of Thomas Duroux, Palmer has shown a tremendous level of consistency. 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 are all superb Bordeaux wines.
Palmer is not the only wine produced by the estate that continues to improve. Alter Ego, is also making better wine these days. Alter Ego is one of the top wines from the Margaux appellation combining quality with price. Alter Ego is not a second wine. Produced from different parcels than the Grand Vin, the estate markets it as a unique wine that is made by the same team that produces Palmer.
2010 Chateau Alter Ego – With an attention seeking floral, black raspberry, cocoa powder, licorice and spice box perfume, the wine feels great on your palate with its silky tannins. Filled with fresh plums, licorice and elegant textures, this is the finest vintage of Alter Ego I have tasted yet. Aside from the 1999, 2010 Alter Ego is better than any vintage of Palmer produced by the estate during the 90’s. 92-93 Pts
2010 Chateau Palmer – An intoxicating perfume kicks this off with scents of flowers, gun powder, mocha, blackberry flowers, caramel, licorice, plums, caramel and truffle aromas. The velvety textures, rich, chocolate, blackberry, plum and black cherry flavors are expansive. The long, pure, sensuous finish remains in your mouth for over 40 seconds. The wine is produced from a blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. There was no sensation of heat in the wine even though it clocked in at 14.5% alcohol. 96-97 Pts
During the 1855 Classified dinner in Bordeaux, one of the wines served was the sublime 1989 Palmer, which afforded me the opportunity to see how that wine was developing.
1989 Palmer – Ruby red and showing signs of age in the color, the hauntingly seductive, the perfume was filled with flowers, creme de cassis, plums, spice, truffle and tobacco perks up your senses. On the palate, this sensuous, opulent, richly textured Bordeaux wine feels like pure silk. With a long, deep, ripe, spicy, dark finish, this lush Margaux wine remains on your palate for over 40 seconds. With prices for current vintages at such high levels, Bordeaux lovers seeking stunning examples of Palmer should seek out 1983 and 1989, if they can be fond with solid provenance.