The 2017 Palmer was cropped at 38hl/ha between 20 and 29 September and then matured in 65% new oak (though this sample was taken from a used barrel as usual). For me there is quite a large difference between the Palmer and Alter Ego, the bouquet here is much more sophisticated and demonstrating more delineation: black fruit, iris, brown spices, a touch of clove and a subtle brine influence in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, crisp acidity, smooth and harmonious with a palpable sense of tension. I love the purity here, almost to an extent that I felt like asking Thomas Duroux to eschew the new oak! This has great potential and I love the typicité that I hope will not be obstructed. 2023 - 2050
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018|
The 2017 Palmer, a blend of 54% Merlot with 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, is very deep purple-black in color and leaps from the glass with freshly macerated blue and black fruits: wild blueberries, blackberries and black cherries plus hints of licorice, rose hips, tilled soil and oolong tea with a waft of truffles. Medium-bodied, very finely crafted with exquisitely ripe and smooth yet firm tannins and sporting great mid-palate intensity and wonderful freshness, it finishes long and minerally.
|Score: 96/98||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018|
Very perfumed and subtle with dried flowers and citrus, as well as blue fruit. Full-bodied with wonderfully diffused, integrated tannins that just run over the edges of the wine. It’s extremely polished and very, very long. Fresh and bright. Energetic finish. A thoughtful wine. A blend of 54% merlot, 42% cabernet sauvignon and 4% petit verdot. Drink after 2023.
|Score: 98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (June 2019), January 2020|
This is a sexy and well-formed 2017 with very velvety and suave tannins that go on for minutes. Full-bodied, soft and round. Extremely long and last for minutes.
|Score: 97/98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018|
All the elements of the château come through beautifully in the 2017 Palmer. Dark, succulent and inviting, Palmer expresses the forward, fresh style of the year very nicely. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate and dark spice notes fill out the wine's frame effortlessly. The 2017 is an understated wine of great promise. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. The blend is 54% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% 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: 93/96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2018|
Black core. A little smoky and reduced, more closed/restrained than the Alter Ego. Tannins are firm but so fluid. The tannins are somehow deceptive, they seem so velvety. Very fresh, subtle and extremely persistent. Incredibly pure, and very long. So fluid (though I have to be careful because apparently fluide in French means 'dilute') and incredibly elegant.
|Score: 17.5+||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018|
In 2017 Palmer avoided any frost damage except for in a few inland plots which are normally used for the second wine - Alter Ego. A yield of 38 hl/ha and a blend of 54% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Petit Verdot. 13.2 degrees. Thomas Duroux describes it as being "like 2014 plus".This is the 4th vintage as a fully bio-dynamic vineyard. Deep purple in the glass, this is initially reticent with notes of flint and graphite, but with a little air it reveals violets, brambly fruit and fresh vanilla. The palate is fleshy and ultra-refined, with cashmere tannins and blueberry fruits making for a seamless texture . This allows layers of fruits and flowers to shine through and be lifted by bright, balancing acidity. The oak is creamy, exotic and spicy but perfectly in balance with the fruit, complementing rather than dominating the flavour profile. Long and harmonious on the finish.
|Score: 16.5||Farr Vintners, April 2018|
The nose has a mix of fruits freshness underpinned by rich ripe black fruits. The palate has fleshy richness creamy and supple velvet smooth the tannins fine and integrated. The underlying freshness gives a lighter stylish elegance to the finish. 2026-45
|Score: 93/96||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2018|
It's very interesting to watch a 'super-second' risk scaling back the muscular attributes of its wine. The key, says director Thomas Duroux, was building the blend carefully and using the press wines to preserve the mid-palate (12% press in this wine, around the same as the 2015). It's less powerful and concentrated than the last few vintages, and yet the wine feels sculpted and sewn into place. The fine tannins are extremely clear and precise, and there's a purity of fruit expression that gives an overwhelming initial impression. The aromatics are really striking, offering an abundance of violet notes on the nose with huge finesse. It just gets better and better in the mouth,, and the tannins do that slow-build thing that is so disarming. This has clear ageing potential. Very low SO2 use for the past few years, in keeping with their biodynamic principles. Just one plot of Petit Verdot for the grand vin was hit by frost. Harvested 20-29 September. 11,000 cases of Palmer, representing 55% of the crop.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
|Score: 95||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018|
Winemaker Thomas Duroux explained that this wine is made because the picking date was determined by the ripeness of the grapes and the exact size, shape and style of the wine which he wanted to make i.e. 2017 Palmer. It was not determined by the weather or any other extraneous factors which, in years gone by, might have resulted in a less complete wine. This is a stunning, silky, perfectly proportioned wine with amazing freshness and energy. A great sign is that the oak has already melted away into this wine’s core perfectly.
|Score: 18.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018|