2008 Ch. Palmer, Margaux

2008 Ch. Palmer, Margaux

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Palmer | Code: 1329 | 2008 | France > Bordeaux > Margaux | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol



Bottle 12 x 75cl



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Scores and Reviews











DECANTER - Black-red, excellent concentration of black fruits, yet still plummy and aromatic, satiny ripeness with good firm tannins, freshness and depth, will be very good.
Decanter - Apr-2009

JANCIS - Quite grown up and sophisticated. Draws you in on the nose – much more compelling than most 2008s. Sweet start - 51% Merlot! – very unusually high for 2008 and for Palmer. The opposite of Ch Margaux. Actually quite Ornellaia like, very soft and rich. Very seductive and lively. With velvety texture. Neat and energetic. Cool, even slightly minty. Really lots of pleasure. Even if quite unusual. The Palmer team love it – not least because it was so difficult. Italian bite. (Not that this will be a popular tasting note in Margaux.) Quite electric.
Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - Apr 09

PARKER - A stunning success for the vintage, and possibly the Margaux of the year, this wine, which achieved 13.5% natural alcohol, is a blend of 51% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. Loads of barbecue smoke, licorice, incense, blackberry, new saddle leather and forest floor notes jump from the glass of this dense, purple-colored wine. Extraordinarily intense and full-bodied, with plenty of tannin, but not the formidable structure of the 2010, this is going to be one of the longest-lived wines of 2008. It is full, rich, layered, and should be reasonably approachable with 3-4 years of bottle age, and will also keep for 30+ years.
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011

The 2008 Palmer, which tips the scales at 13.5% natural alcohol (among the highest achieved at this property), is a blend of 51% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Petit Verdot. It is a massively rich wine with an inky/purple color, sensational density of fruit, velvety tannins, a glorious bouquet of black fruits, licorice, incense, and subtle barbecue smoke, a superb, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a fabulous texture and length. With several minutes of swirling, an enticing floral note emerges. The wine’s glycerin and sweetness suggest it will be approachable 3-4 years after bottling, yet keep for three decades or more. It appears to be among the finest Palmers made this decade, rivaling both the 2005 and 2000.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr-2009

WA -

Very deep colour. Like the Alter Ego, the nose takes some coaxing from the glass, it is not as generous as the 2006 or 2007, rather this unfurls gracefully in the glass. Black cherries, violets with boysenberry and a touch of iodine. A slight clayey accent coming through. The palate is full-bodied, it has that same sense of energy, a real prickle on the tongue, very fresh and taut – tension. Firm tannins, again quite strict on the finish. Correct but supremely well focused. A certain austerity at the finish, but that will mellow out in time. Impressive (again).
Neal Martin - e-Robert parker.com - Apr-2009

The Story

Chateau Palmer


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.


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.



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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