Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Tour and Tasting at Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
The visit consisted of a tour of Château Palmer, including the vineyards, and a tasting of 2 wines. Melodie Petit was our host. We also had a chance to look at the Picasso exhibition in the tasting room.
Château Palmer is named after a British officer, General General Palmer. It is the top estate of the Margaux appellation after Château Margaux. It is located in the center of the Margaux appellation, and its vineyards lie on a sparse gravel plateau. Château 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.
Wine has been produced at this estate since 1748. The château changed hands multiple times until it was acquired in 1938 by a syndicate of four very prominent Bordeux families - the Sichel, Ginestet, Miailhe and Mähler-Besse families - forming the Société Civile du Château Palmer in the process. Since then, the Ginestet and Miailhe families have pulled out. The heirs of the Sichel and Mähler-Besse families remain shareholders of the Société Civile du Château Palmer.
Château Palmer is a Troisième Cru en 1855, situated in the communes Margaux and Cantenac. Once a part of Château d'Issan, 50 hectares of vineyards came to the Gascq family - an influential Bordeaux dynasty - in the late 1700s. These vineyards became Château de Gascq, which quickly established itself.
In 1814, the widow of the final Gascq heir sold the property to General Charles Palmer, who had fought with Wellington against Napoleon. General Palmer gave it his own name and invested in the property over the following years, acquiring additional land and facilities. By 1831, Château Palmer had 82 hectares under vine, and had a reputation on a par with Château Margaux and Château Beychevelle. His political career and fortunes, however, began to falter and eventually Charles Palmer had no choice other than to sell off his assets, including Château Palmer. Charles Palmer died in London in 1851. Although his tenure of the estate was a relatively short one of just 29 years, he nevertheless left his mark; the property, vineyards and wine remain Château Palmer to this day.
From 1844 to 1853, Château Palmer was owned by the Caisse Hypothécaire de Paris. From 1853 to 1938, it was owned by the Péreire brothers Isaac and Emile Péreire, bankers and rivals of the Rothschilds. In 1938, a syndicate of the Sichel, Ginestet, Mialhe and Mähler-Besse families took control. Over the years, the Ginestet and Miailhe families have pulled out.
Today, the vines of Château Palmer cover a surface of 52 hectares, mostly located in the Cantenac sector of Margaux, made up of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. The high share of Merlot makes Château Palmer Palmer unique in the Medoc.
The grapes are fermented in 52 temperature controlled, cone-shaped stainless steel vats that vary in terms of size. The Grand Vin is Château Palmer; it sees up to 21 months in oak of which 45% is new. Château Palmer also produces Alter Ego. Because the latter comes from different and has a different blend than the Grand Vin, Château Palmer does not consider Alter Ego as its second wine, but as a different, indeendet wine. The Alter Ego de Palmer sees up to 17 months in oak, of which between 25-40% is new.
The production of the Grand Vin Château Palmer is 11,000 cases and of Alter Ego de Palmer 8,000 cases.
2011 Alter Ego de Château Palmer
“Wahoo!” Tempted just to leave it at that really. Since 2005 particularly, tasting at Palmer has been one of the highlights of the week for myself and the BB&R team. It’s not only the Grand Vin that has been honed into a magnificent Adonis, but this too is a beauty to behold in its own right. Some second wines are a pale image of their big brother. However, Alter Ego is no Fredo to Michael Corleone. It’s lush, approachable, joyful even playful in comparison but by no means insignificant. It’s something fun to play with until the Grand Vin is ready to reveal itself. A definite buy for my cellar this year. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
Wine-searcher average price: US$75
2007 Château Palmer
Great delicacy and great intricacy (...) The World of Fine Wine, Michel Bettane
This wine has fresh herbal and mint aromatics with a slight vegetal note in the finish. However, like the 2002, I think it will develop into an early drinking, medium bodied elegant style with wonderful floral, spicy aromatics given time. Good wine for early drinking compared to Palmer's other vintages. Tasted in: Bordeaux, France. Maturity: Drink. Jeannie Cho Lee.
Wine-searcher average price: US$210
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France (Posted and Forthcoming):
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics
Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction
How Does the Negociant System in Bordeaux Work? Tour and Tasting at Millésima - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dining and Wining on Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris: La Rotonde, Le Dôme and La Coupole, France – Pre-Bordeaux Wine Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours, France
Tour and Tasting from Barrel at Domaine de Chevalier, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Adrien Bernard - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dinner with a View: At Restaurant L’Estacade in Bordeaux City - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France - An Update
Saint Emilion Wines and their Classification, Bordeaux, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany
Tour and Tasting at Château Canon La Gaffelière, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Château Beauséjour, Appellation Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, with Owner/ Winemaker Gérard Dupuis - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Figeac, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, in Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Beauregard, Appellation Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour with Dany Rolland: Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Wine-pairing Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tasting were it all Started: At the "Garage" of Jean-Luc Thunevin, Owner and Winermaker of Château Valandraud, Premier Grand Cru Classé since 2012 - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Charcuterie and Fromage at Chez Pascal in Saint Emilion - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château de Fargues, Sauternes, with Prince Eudes d’Orléans - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Wine-pairing Lunch at the 1-star Michelin Restaurant Claude Darroze, with Marie-Hélène Lévêque, Owner of Châteaux Chantegrive - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit: Château de Chantegrive, Appellation Grave, with Owner Marie-Hélène Lévêque - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Lunch at the Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Restaurant La Grand’ Vigne (Chef: Nicolas Masse, 2 Stars Michelin) - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit of La Cité du Vin - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch at Pinasse Café, Cap Ferret - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visiting an Oyster Farm at Arcachon Bay, Bordeaux: Raphael Doerfler at Earl Ostrea Chanca - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
The 5 Premiers Grands Crus Chateaux en 1855 of Bordeaux, France
What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France
Tourt and tasting at Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pauillac, 2ième Grand Cru Classé
Wine Lunch at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pauillac, 2ième Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Michel Tesseron
At the Invitation of Owner Michel Tesseron: Private Dinner at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Sociando Mallet, Appellation Haut-Médoc
How a Barrel is Made: Visit of the Cooperage Berger & Fils in Vertheuil
Lunch were the Locals eat: At Le Peyrat in Saint-Estèphe in Saint Estephe
Tour and Tasting at Château Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Anne Cuvelier
Tour and Tasting at Château Margaux, Appellation Margaux, 1ière Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Nathalie Schyler
Picnic Lunch at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Nathalie Schyler
Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Daina Paulin