Bordeaux, Margaux, 'Alter Ego de Palmer,' Palmer 2019

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53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot.

Château Palmer is a wine estate located in the Margaux appellation of the Médoc. It was ranked as a third growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, although for many decades it has been consistently rated as one of the best wines in the region.

Second label of Chateau Palmer. This cuvée was introduced in 1998 as a stylistically different counterpart to the grand vin, rather than a second wine. Nonetheless, it is more fruit-forward than the grand vin, and can be approachable in its first few years after bottling – traits very much in keeping with many other second wines. The previous second wine, La Réserve du Général, is no longer made, and any components which would previously have gone into it are now sold off in bulk.

Unusually for the Médoc, Château Palmer usually has as much Merlot as Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend (along with a small amount of Petit Verdot), which helps give the wine a fleshy and generous structure. It can be drunk young, but will also reward long cellaring.

Winemaking Team Notes: "The nature of Château Palmer. In the heart of the Margaux appellation, 66 hectares of gravelly soil and grassy rows overlooking the Gironde estuary. Between this earth rich in ancient history, and these heavenly skies with their nurturing microclimate, vines flourish under the care of men and women. One terroir, three grape varieties: such is the horizon of Château Palmer.

Vintage Notes: Although January was marked by a few days of extreme cold, winter was relatively mild. Precipitation is moderate, but allows useful soil reserves to be recharged. Nearly a week in advance, the budburst of the vines is taking place regularly and evenly. Spring, cool and rainy, requires us to be very precise in managing the vineyard. Despite capricious weather, the flowering portends a good harvest. At the end of June, climatic conditions change radically. Hot and dry weather sets in for a long time.

Two heatwave episodes in June and July were of no consequence. Low summer precipitation favors the accumulation of polyphenols in the berries. Veraison takes place in excellent conditions and, in mid-August, the prospects for a good vintage become clearer. We start harvesting the Merlots on September 19th. The berries are aromatic and loaded with sugar. The harvest continues and we enter autumn with regular light rains which lower the potential degrees of the Cabernets. They end on October 11. In the vat room, the Merlots shine with their exuberance. The Cabernet Sauvignons and Petit Verdots show remarkable finesse.

Tasting Notes: Spontaneous, round, generous, on silk, this “other wine” is both intense and light, rich and delicate. It has the elegance and grain of tannin of its predecessor. And benefits, throughout its creation, from the same standards that govern the composition of the great wine of Château Palmer."

Critic Tasting Note: "Finely perfumed, the wine has ripe tannins and well-crafted textures. The wine's black fruits are forward, showing complex structures and the promise of fine aging. This second wine of Château Palmer will age well. Drink from 2026. Organic and biodynamic. Roger Voss" - 94 pts, Wine Enthusiast

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