Ch Palmer 3ème Cru Margaux 2016 | £1,440 per 6 | “Mesmerizing” 99-100 points, JS

Written By

May 19th 2017

 

Any drinker who loves the beauty of classic Margaux must consider this exceptional wine for their portfolio.

In 2016 they began their latest ever picking on the 3rd October – it was a warm September but it wasn’t hot. While tasting we were told it became evident very quickly that the quality of the grapes coming into the chai was top flight.

The aromatic intensity of this 2016 is nothing less than extraordinary, the tannins are powerful and perfectly ripe and there is the velvety character that makes Chateau Palmer’s wines so very distinctive.Wine director Thomas Duroux has made an incredibly impressive wine that will give immense pleasure.
The critics’ comments have been rapturous.

“there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing.” 99-100 points, James Suckling

“one of the most captivating and joyous wines of the vintage… a masterpiece because it is the epitome of restraint and composure. With superb tannins and serious finesse this is a wine which has risen from great terroir in the most trying of conditions to confound and delight the drinker.” 19+ points, Matthew Jukes

“Sophisticated and polished from the outset, the 2016 Palmer is utterly captivating… The 2016 literally hovers on the palate with exquisite grace. I can’t wait to see how it ages.” 95-98 points, Antonio Galloni

Clearly one of the stars of the vintage, you will need to move quickly to secure a case of this tremendous wine.

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Ch Palmer 3ème Cru Margaux 2016
£1,440.00 per 6 bottles IB
£1,450.00 per 3 magnums IB

The extreme conditions of 2016 put a lot of pressure on growers, particularly biodynamic ones like Palmer. They held fire, and whilst their yields suffered (Palmer came in at 29 hl/ha where others were hovering around 40 hl/ha), the concentration and composure of the wine did not. Where the 2015 was exuberant, the 2016 is more nuanced, suggestive and delicate. Savoury tones swirl around the palate, which is spiced with some black pepper. A textured wine with a fresh balance. 94-96 points, Goedhuis & Co

Matured in 65% new oak (my sample coming from a used barrel), the bouquet is perhaps not quite as intense as some of its peers and takes time to click into fifth gear. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, briary and mineral scents; it is very focused, but maybe less extrovert and more classic in style compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, quite firm in the mouth with slightly tarry black fruit, hints of black truffle developing towards the finish that feels masculine and linear. It has very impressive length, completing what is an intellectual Palmer, one that I suspect will really blossom in bottle. 95-97 points, Neal Martin

I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. It’s equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. 99-100 points, James Suckling

Sophisticated and polished from the outset, the 2016 Palmer is utterly captivating. Dark shades of fruit, accented by hints of smoke, leather and discreet French oak open up in the glass, but it is the wine’e effortless, gracious personality that stands out most. The 2016 literally hovers on the palate with exquisite grace. I can’t wait to see how it ages. 95-98 points, Antonio Galloni

Winemaker Thomas Duroux explained that 2016 could have been disastrous. The pressure on a biodynamic vineyard, with the amount of rain that fell in the first half of the season was, near-catastrophic. The Palmer team worked their socks off and as we all now know, the rain stopped at just the right time and what followed was a remarkable growing season, refreshed by the famous rains on the 13th September, and remembered as the latest harvest on record – between the 3rd and 18th October. The Grand Vin is a terroir selection mostly and in 2016 is one of the most captivating and joyous wines of the vintage. Very shy and very complex and it is impossibly long and it unravels brilliantly and incrementally on the palate. This is a masterpiece because it is the epitome of restraint and composure. With superb tannins and serious finesse this is a wine which has risen from great terroir in the most trying of conditions to confound and delight the drinker. 19+ points, Matthew Jukes

The grand vin represents 65% of production in 2016, the highest ever. It has many similarities in style with the 2001 and 1986, being a classically styled wine full of soft slate, fern, liquorice and cassis, but from the modern era where you can achieve so much more precision. This is a wine that makes you smile from the first sip, and keeps on getting better, caressing you gently across the palate. There is never any let up through the mid-palate, and the biodynamics that have been practised here for the past few years are clearly paying off. Elegant, utterly silky and precise, the structure is just effortless with reasonably fresh alcohols that are the result of late ripening. A perfect example of the appellation, it has the florality, density and slow tannic pace that means it takes you right along with it as the flavours build. The blend is 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Intellectual without being overbearing, and built to age. This is impressive stuff. 98 points, Jane Anson, Decanter