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: 89/91||Neal Martin, vinous.com, 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: 90/92||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018|
This shows excellent body and depth of fruit. Rich and very deep. Layered and flavorful. Solid and chewy. Serious second wine.
|Score: 92/93||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018|
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: 89/92||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, 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.
|Score: 17||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, 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: 15||Farr 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: 90/92||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, 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: 91||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, 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: 17.5||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018|