This delicious wine concentrates on the success of the Merlot in 2012 with 48% of the variety in the blend, in comparison to just 46% of Cabernet and 6% Petit Verdot. The result is a beautifully giving wine with huge generosity of fruit. This is layered, rounded and wonderfully succulent. Whilst not powerful it has lovely balance and will give lots of pleasure.
The 2012 Palmer's inky/purple color is more saturated than most Margaux's, and it offers complex notes of blackberries, cassis, licorice, truffle and spring flowers. The wine is dense, rich and full-bodied with a muscular appeal, but the tannins, as high as they are, are sweet and well-integrated. None of the new oak used during the wine-s upbringing is noticeable. Interestingly, this wine showed no evidence of dilution from the October 7-9 rainfall. I suspect it will require 3-4 years of cellaring, and should last for two decades. Thomas Duroux produced a brilliant 2012 Palmer that is unquestionably one of the stars of the vintage. High levels of tannin were up there with their best vintages, at least analytically. The final blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot results in a style of wine that is totally different than that of its nearby neighbors, Chateau Margaux, Rauzan-Segla and Malescot St.-Exupery. Drink 2016 - 2036
Tasted from a barrel sample at en primeur. The Palmer was picked between 1st and 15th October at just 28hl/ha because of the previous vintage since the vines had been pruned back to four buds per vine. A blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, the Grand Vin is very opulent on the nose for the vintage, the merlot much more expressive than the Cabernet with nascent scents of crushed violet. The palate is medium-bodied with thick juicy tannins, a crisp citric line of acidity and a sense of weight and solidity on the tightly-coiled finish. This Palmer will probably need several years bottle age. Certainly a very good grip on the finish with a marine like aftertaste. Tasted April 2013.
13% press wine, pH 3.75. First vintage made in the new chai. Gravity used for the first time. Biggest impact has been on the press wines. IPT almost as high as in 2010. Sweet and voluptuous on the nose. Then lovely well-integrated freshness on the finish. So gloriously smooth. Just a note of that sweet oak I found a bit too much on the 2009 blind tasting in Southwold, but the fruit is absolutely fantastic. Very appetising. 13.5% Drink 2022-2040
Juicy, with a bright leafy note framing the dark plum and blackberry fruit. Lots of singed alder and spice notes flow through the finish, which has solid but integrated grip. A buried iron edge emerges in the end. Tasted non-blind. —J.M.
Château Palmer has many followers. Indeed in certain vintages it even rivals Château Margaux itself. Its 1961 was one of the most compelling wines of the vintage outperforming most first growths. Many deem this château far more noble than its original classified third growth status which can be confirmed by its price.
Plump, silky and seductive are the words often used to describe wines from Margaux. Because of their style, they tend to be user friendly and more approachable when young. This is in part due to its terroir which is comprised of the thinnest soil as well as the highest proportion of chunky gravel in all of the Médoc. It drains well but also is it more susceptible to vintage variation. Margaux wines tend to have the highest proportions of Merlot within the core of the Médoc further adding to their ample roundness and openness. Margaux is home to the largest number of classified growths including its namesake first growth, Château Margaux, as well as third growths, Palmer and d'Issan.