2011 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux

2011 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Palmer | Code: 11927 | 2011 | France > Bordeaux > Margaux | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

16.5/20

DECANTER

17.5/20

PARKER

88-90/100

WS

89-92/100

DECANTER - Lovely perfumed and floral aromas. Beautiful structure elegance, purity and definition and charm to come later.
(Decanter - Bordeaux 2011 coverage - April 2012)

PARKER - More approachable (it tips the scales at 13.2% alcohol), the 2011 Alter Ego de Palmer is composed of 48% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and a whopping 15% Petit Verdot. Despite all of the latter varietal, the wine is velvety textured, pure and impressively endowed with a lovely fragrance. It should drink beautifully for 10-15+ years.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2012)

WS - Taut but sappy, with lots of white pepper and kirsch flavors and a chalky energy on the tightly wound finish.
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
(James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 10, 2012)

The Story

Chateau Palmer

Producer

Chateau Palmer

Château Palmer is named after a British officer, Major General Palmer, who settled in Bordeaux in 1814. It is the top estate of the Margaux appellation after Château Margaux. It is located in the centre of the Margaux appellation, and its vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Merlot 40%, Cabernet Franc 5%) lie on a sparse gravel plateau.

Palmer is classified as a 3ème Cru Classé and was established as a Super Second long before Léoville Las Cases, Ducru-Beaucaillou and Pichon-Lalande, and in some years (1961, 1966, and 1983) it is as good as any wine in Bordeaux.

Palmer's relatively high Merlot content makes Palmer the closest in style of any leading Médoc properties to the great wines of Pomerol and St-Emilion.

Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

Region

Margaux

If Pauillac can be seen as the bastion of ‘traditional’ Red Bordeaux, then Margaux represents its other facet in producing wines that are among Bordeaux’s most sensual and alluring. It is the largest commune in the Médoc, encompassing the communes of Cantenac, Soussans, Arsac and Labaude, in addition to Margaux itself. Located in the centre of the Haut-Médoc, Margaux is the closest of the important communes to the city of Bordeaux.

The soils in Margaux are the lightest and most gravelly of the Médoc, with some also containing a high percentage of sand. Vineyards located in Cantenac and Margaux make up the core of the appelation with the best vineyard sites being located on well-drained slopes, whose lighter soils give Margaux its deft touch and silky perfumes. Further away from the water, there is a greater clay content and the wines are less dramatically perfumed.

Margaux is the most diffuse of all the Médoc appelations with a reputation for scaling the heights with irreproachable wines such as Ch. Margaux and Ch. Palmer, but also plumbing the depths, with too many other châteaux not fulfilling their potential. There has been an upward shift in recent years, but the appellation cannot yet boast the reliability of St Julien. However, the finest Margaux are exquisitely perfumed and models of refinement and subtlety which have few parallels in Bordeaux.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Margaux, Ch. Palmer, Ch. Brane-Cantenac, Ch. Rauzan-Ségla , Ch. Dufort-Vivens, Ch. Ferrière, Ch. du Tertre, Ch. Giscours, Ch. d'Angludet.

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