Alter Ego de Palmer 2017


This is the second wine of Chateau Palmer. It is always very smooth and supple thanks to a high proportion of Merlot in the blend.

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Tasting Notes

Composed of 53% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Alter Ego de Palmer is deep garnet-purple in color and springs from the glass with vivacious black raspberries, black cherries and crushed blackcurrants notes plus hints of Sichuan pepper, menthol, pencil lead and cardamom. Medium-bodied, the palate is charged with energy, featuring expressive, bright black fruits and firm, fine-grained tannins, finishing long and lively. 2020 - 2038

Score: 92Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

The 2017 Alter Ego was bottled a little later than others at the end of August 2019. Deep garnet in colour, it has a refined bouquet with blackberry, cedar, crushed violets, hints of orange pith and incense, all very well defined but understated. The palate is medium-bodied with a lightly spiced entry. Fine tannins, a little compact being so close to bottling, yet it displays the tension and focus that I observed out of barrel with an attractive marine influence on the aftertaste. 2021 - 2036

Score: 90Neal Martin,, February 2020

The 2017 Alter Ego is matured in 25% new oak. It has quite a rich, dark chocolate-tinged bouquet that is driven by the Merlot, almost Right Bank in style. It just lacks the same detail and clarity as the Grand Vin. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin, nicely balanced, certainly one of the more approachable Alter Ego in recent years with a touch of spice and clove towards the finish. Drink 2021-2035.

Score: 89/91Neal Martin,, May 2018

A blend of 53% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Alter Ego de Palmer is very deep purple-black in color and gives up exuberant crushed red currants, red cherries, black plums and mulberries with touches of forest floor, garrigue and lavender plus a waft of dark chocolate. The palate is medium-bodied with a good core of plummy fruit and very soft, plush tannins, sparked by just enough freshness, finishing fruity.

Score: 90/92Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

This is a delicious and savory wine with beautiful, ripe and creamy tannins, as well as chocolate and plum character. Full body. The flavors turn to wet earth and mushrooms with some leather. A blend of 53% merlot, 41% cabernet sauvignon and 6% petit verdot. Lovely finish. Try after 2021.

Score: 94James Suckling,, January 2020

This shows excellent body and depth of fruit. Rich and very deep. Layered and flavorful. Solid and chewy. Serious second wine.

Score: 92/93James Suckling,, April 2018

The 2017 Alter Ego is pliant, textured and supple. Expressive floral notes add inner perfume and freshness to a core of dark red berry fruit, mocha, new leather, spice and menthol. A wine of striking textural richness, Alter Ago also remains light on its feet and wonderfully nuanced. The 13% alcohol, low by present-day standards, adds to a feeling of freshness. 2022 - 2032

Score: 92Antonio Galloni,, March 2020

The 2017 Alter Ego is wonderfully lifted and floral, with a persistent red berry character that carries through to the finish effortlessly. The 2017 is a very pretty Alter Ego that will drink well with minimal cellaring. There is so much to like here. The blend is 53% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Technical Director Thomas Duroux told me his team harvested all the fruit in nine days as opposed to the more typical 2-3 weeks. The 2017s were done with no SO2 at crush. Duroux stopped the pumpovers early and favored gentle extractions. Both wines are in the 13-13.2% range of finished alcohol.

Score: 89/92Antonio Galloni,, May 2018

Inky black colour. Delicate and super-pure dark fruit, Dark and savoury on the palate, rich and deep in savoury black fruit. Very smooth but with attractive density, smooth and dark and very long. Elegant and flowing across the palate.
Drink 2025-2035

Score: 17Julia Harding MW,, April 2018

The blend this year is very similar to the Grand Vin with 53% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Medium-deep ruby with an open, floral, and bright nose of blackcurrant and fresh vanilla pod. The palate is silky and refined, with soft and polished tannins framing floral cherry blossom and fresh blackcurrant. Bright, refined and juicy, this has a succulent finish with an approachability that should make the wine enjoyable in its youth.

Score: 15Farr Vintners, April 2018

The nose is fragrant woodland violets the palate has fresh fruits at the start. Sweet ripe fruit in the middle black cherry is backed by cassis the fruit supported by fine tannins rich at the back with an underlying freshness on the finish. Drink 2024-2037.

Score: 90/92Derek Smedley MW,, May 2018

The blends for the grand vin and second wine are similar this year. This is carefully presented, accomplished and precise, with fresh mint and peony notes on the nose followed by bright and vibrant black fruit flavours. It's extremely pretty, with some lovely floral notes. The yield was 38hl/ha as they lost a few plots to frost over to the west of the appellation. 13.5% press wine. 45% of overall production, representing 9,000 cases. IPT 66.
Drinking Window 2024 - 2038

Score: 91Jane Anson,, April 2018

Fifteen hectares were damaged with frost, all on the Alter Ego plots. A refined vintage, from Thomas Duroux’s point of view, this is also a precocious wine with rather lovely succulence on the mid-palate. The colour is very dense and yet the palate is lifted and clean. There is no early addition of SO2 here and he only uses native yeasts as this helps to keep the colour bold and bright. There is little obvious tannin here because the balance of the skin and oak is sublime. Similar in shape to the 2008 and really enticing and glossy without being showy.

Score: 17.5Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.