2022 Alter Ego de Palmer is released this morning for sale en primeur. We were lucky enough to taste it from cask last month with winemaker Thomas Duroux in what was the most memorable meeting of our visit.
There is general agreement that Palmer have produced one of their best-ever wines and Alter Ego is not far behind it. The sandy, free-draining soils of Margaux were susceptible to drought in 2022 and the yield at Palmer was just 22 hl/ha, compared to an average 30 hl/ha (itself low), hence there is limited wine to go around this year. Much of our stock is already pre-allocated to buyers of previous vintages.
Duroux has the air of an architect; appropriate given the structured, architectural feel of the 2022 Palmer. Clearly intellectual, he also communicated a strong sense of focus and direction in what he is trying to achieve at this château. In a vintage in which many winemakers did everything they could to avoid extraction, he went in the opposite direction, macerating the grapes on their skins for longer than usual (many estates reduced their maceration times from around 25 days to 22, he increased his to around 30).
Duroux explained to us that he took a month to pick the grapes, plot by plot, to ensure the correct phenolic ripeness levels across the whole harvest, with less under or over-ripe flavours than would otherwise have been the case. This meant he could do an extended maceration without risk of over-extraction. The key advantage of this, in his view, was to avoid making a wine that lacked a balanced mid-palate, which he felt was a risk in 2022.
Alter Ego was open, pure and precise, with ultra-refined tannins and an overall harmonious impression of everything being in exactly the right balance. We have said it several times this year, but the top second wines have come of age and represent excellent value for money, with the differences between them and their grands vins being more about intent than quality.
The critics' notes and scores speak for themselves. Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like an allocation. Currently, we are sold out of Alter Ego but are seeking further stocks.
Offered en primeur, landing spring 2025.
Magnums available with £15 ex-VAT bottling surcharge, please enquire re other formats.
To order, e-mail us at email@example.com
|RED||2022||Château Palmer||75cl||£1,788 per case of 6||Château Palmer
2022 / / 75cl
£1,788 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"As is the case at neighbor Château Margaux, the 2022 Palmer is one of the most powerful wines this estate has ever produced. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, it offers up aromas of blackberries, burning embers, violets, iris and sweet soil tones, followed by a full-bodied, broad and expansive palate, its velvety attack segueing into a rich and layered core. Supple, seamless and concentrated, it checks in at 14.4% alcohol and a rather high pH of 3.79. 95-97 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"The 2022 Palmer is a wine of sublime beauty and refinement. Siky, caressing and super-expressive, the 2022 is also one of the most surprising wines of the year in that it does not show the drought or heat of the growing season at all either in its flavor profile or feel. Succulent black cherry, plum, leather, licorice, spice and dried herbs lend notable complexity throughout. The 2022 starts off rather slow and then really explodes on the back end. It is a magnificent wine in every way. 96-98 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The 2022 Palmer was cropped at just 22hL/ha due to the berries being 25-30% smaller than usual. It bursts forth on the nose with precocious black cherries, blueberry, violet and touches of marmalade and tobacco in the background. Complex and expressive. The palate is structured, with the tannic backbone, that winemaker Thomas Duroux talked about, lending this Palmer a sense of verticality. Hints of black pepper emerge with time, multi-layered, powerful Margaux and yet the IPT is actually lower than elsewhere (76). Quite linear on the tobacco-infused finish which is just quintessential Palmer. Do reserve a bin in your cellar for this and let it gather dust for at least a decade. 14.4% alcohol. 96-98 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2022 Château Palmer is utterly brilliant, so much so that I questioned in my notes if this would challenge the 2018. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, from tiny yields of 22 hectoliters per hectare, its mammoth-sized personality offers layers of blue and black fruits, notes of melted chocolate, crushed stone, and spring flowers, building, velvety tannins, and a great, great finish. While many estates commented that they extracted less in the vintage, Palmer went in a different direction and extracted more during the vinifications to provide a solid backbone to match the concentration and power of the vintage. It appears to have worked brilliantly, and hats off to Thomas Duroux for having the confidence to go his own path. He has produced a truly Grand Vin in 2022. The alcohol here is a normal 14.4%, and the pH is a healthy 3.79. 97-99 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"So much class in the nose with a sophisticated kaleidoscope of dark fruit such as blackcurrants, and spices such as salt and pepper, as well as cloves and nutmeg. Full-bodied. Compacted and dense yet weightless. It opens beautifully. The tannins go on and on with wonderful presence. Salty undertones. 98-99 points" jamessuckling.com
|RED||2022||Château Palmer - Alter Ego de Palmer||75cl||£402 per case of 6||Château Palmer
Alter Ego de Palmer
2022 / / 75cl
£402 per case of 6
Tasting NotesSOLD OUT------"The 2022 Alter Ego is a deep limpid purple in color. It has a huge bouquet as if someone has shoved a bunch of violets in your face and said "Smell that'. It just doesn't hold back. The palate is medium-bodied, with a sweet, ripe entry, Quite dense, structured and grippy, with a slightly briny finish 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"Dense fruits, violet reflections, with a hit of iris, peony and roses. This is a serious wine, with intense phenolics and full extraction that just walks the line, edges of ripe cassis, fig, saffran spice, cocoa bean, grilled campfire notes, dark bitter chocolate and fennel. High drama, maintains estate signature, keeping its own imprint and personality. Harvest September 7 right through to October 5. Blend done by December, yield 23hl/h. 3.73ph. Thomas Duroux director. 92 points" janeanson.com------"A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2022 Alter Ego de Palmer offers up aromas of cherries, wild berries and plums mingled with vine smoke and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, deep and brooding, with a layered core of fruit, lively acids and rich, powdery tannins, it's a gourmand, voluptuous wine that will offer a broad drinking window. 91-93 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com------"I always love the second wine from this estate, and their 2022 Alter Ego De Palmer should be terrific. Based on 61% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot, aged in 25% new oak, it's a deeply hued Margaux with lots of ripe red and blue fruits, some classic chalky minerality, and floral notes. It shows the vintage's powerful, concentrated style and is full-bodied, with terrific balance. 93-95 points" Jebdunnuck.com------"The 2022 Alter Ego is a total pleasure bomb. Ripe and sensual with caressing tannins, the 2022 is exceptionally beautiful. Floral and spice top notes lend tons of aromatic presence. More than anything, though, I am so impressed with the wine's exceptional balance. Especially the tannins. Nothing in particular stands out, as the wine's balance is nothing short of magnificent. The 2022 is pure and total sensualty. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com------"The minerality and intensity to this wine is very impressive with blackberry and blue berry aromas and flavors. Salt and pepper. It’s full and linear with a brightness and freshness. Compacted center palate. 96-97 points" jamessuckling.com