Released en primeur this morning, 2020 Alter Ego de Palmer is successfully escaping the surly bonds of being thought of as a 'second wine' to Palmer. This is not just a matter of good marketing, as Alter Ego comes from its own, separate vineyards. With a higher Merlot content than in the grand vin, it often strikes us as more forward than Palmer, but not so far from it in terms of seriousness and complexity. Not surprising, perhaps, that Merlot is taken very seriously here, with Thomas Ducloux in charge since 2004 (formerly winemaker at Ornellaia).
The bad news is that volumes are down by almost 40% in 2020. Mildew was a problem once again, as in 2018, but once again the estate stuck to their biodynamic guns and thinned the crop, rather than resort to chemical treatments. The good news is that they have produced a superb wine as a result. Stock is very limited, do please let us know straight away if you would like to order.
Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023
Limited availability. To order, e-mail us at email@example.com
|RED||2020||Château Palmer||75cl||£1,440 per case of 6||Château Palmer
2020 / / 75cl
£1,440 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. The Merlot provides the broad sweep and touch of sweetness on entry, the Cabernet the fine but punchy tannins that drive the wine. Lots of life and persistence, the tannins fine-grained and fresh. Clear potential. 18+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"Vivid colours, and the aromatics grab hold straight away. This is intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical, all about the texture which is velvety and seductive with softly-grained tannins. Moves oh so slowly through the palate with dozens of layers to get hold of. The overall feel is precise, slow and seductive, with appellation and estate signature at every turn. Sappy, hawthorn freshness, rosemary, redcurrant, tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate shavings on the finish. 3.77pH, 78IPT, 55% of overall production, with 13% press wine. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044. 97 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"The 2020 Palmer, which was matured in 65% new oak, possesses one of the most perfumed bouquets of the vintage with entrancing, seductive scents of black cherries, wild strawberry, iodine and crushed violets, all beautifully delineated (as per usual). The palate is medium-bodied with fine but quite firm tannins, lending this Palmer more backbone than presupposed. Blackberry, graphite and touches of liquorice develop with aeration that build towards an assertive, pencil box-tinged finish that nods towards Pauillac. This is a Palmer destined for long-term ageing, so readers should have a cool damp cellar handy. It is a serious Palmer, very different from the previous two vintages, not a mix of the two, but content in just being itself. 14.1% alcohol. 96-98 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com
|RED||2020||Château Palmer - Alter Ego de Palmer||75cl||£606 per case of 12||Château Palmer
Alter Ego de Palmer
2020 / / 75cl
£606 per case of 12
Tasting Notes“50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Very much in the Alter Ego mould – lively, fruit-driven with that vineyard-fresh feel but with a little more structure than previous years. Pure and appetising but will age. 13.7%. Drink 2026 – 2035. 17 + points.” (JL), Jancisrobinson.com, Apr 21------"Chocolate shavings and smoked coffee bean on the nose, it's a vintage where you can't get away from the tannins, but here they have sinew and juice, like the best translation of the tannins in the year. This has real purity of fruit (very low SO2 addition at Palmer), together with the gourmet touch that you want in Alter Ego. 45% of overall production. 3.73pH. Survived mildew better than in 2018 because of experience in dealing with the conditions. August 15 to 29 for the harvest. A yield of 31hl/ha. Drinking Window 2024 - 2038. 93 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"he 2020 Alter Ego is very pure on the nose, almost Burgundian in style with lush blueberry, boysenberry, crushed violets and a touch of vanilla. It is not a powerful bouquet but it seems to gain momentum with aeration, finding its own voice with each swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with quite grippy tannins for Alter Ego, possibly because of tasting slightly later (Thomas Duroux commented it is the most tannic that he has produced.) Crustacea-tinged black fruit lacquer the mouth, fresh and very delineated on the finish. Maybe it needs a little more sustain on the aftertaste, though that may evolve throughout its élevage. 92-94 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com