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2020 Château Palmer En Primeur

Released en primeur this morning, no samples of 2020 Château Palmer were sent outside of France.  This is due to the very low levels of sulphur used to stabilise the wine by winemaker Thomas Duroux.  Without entering into the larger debate about biodynamics and 'natural' winemaking (which do not go hand in hand), suffice it to say that this low sulphur approach is quite revolutionary in a wine at this level, something which can only be achieved by obsessive levels of care and attention in the vineyard and the winery.

Of the major critics, only those based in Bordeaux have been able to taste so far.  Writing for Jancisrobinson.com, James Lawther MW scores the wine 18+ points, and Jane Anson awards it 97 points, describing it as "intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical".  

Stock is very limited and we would not be at all surprised if this turns out to be landmark wine once in bottle, so do please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to order.

Bordeaux En Primeur, landing in spring 2023

To order, e-mail us at sales@richardkihl.ltd.uk

Château Palmer, Margaux

Producer Profile

Château Palmer, Margaux

Château Palmer is a Troisième Cru Classé estate in the commune of Margaux.  Originally the vineyards were part of the d'Issan estate, but became known as Château de Gasq when they were purchased by the family of the same name.  The estate acquired its modern name in 1814, when it was bought by the English general, Charles Palmer, on his way back from the Peninsular War where he had fought with Wellington against Napoleon.  Palmer eventually died bankrupt, having spent his wealth on his vines!

In 1938, the Sichel family joined forces with a group of wine merchant friends to purchase the property (originally including the Ginestet and Miailhe families).  Today, the majority shareholders of Sichel and Mahler-Besse, with a number of other minority shareholders.

The vineyard is 52 hectares of 'croupes' (knolls) of Garonne gravel, planted to 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 6% Petit VerdotThomas Duroux, formerly winemaker at Tenuta Dell'Ornellaia, has been in charge since 2004.  The estate is run biodynamically

The second wine, Alter Ego de Palmer, has become increasingly serious in recent years, so much so that in fact Palmer now see this as not a second wine as such, but as a wine in its own right, with the grapes coming from a dedicated vineyard. 

 

RED 2020 Château Palmer 75cl £1,440 per case of 6 Château Palmer
2020 / / 75cl
£1,440 per case of 6
IB
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
2020 / / 75cl
£606 per case of 12
IB
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

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