Château Palmer “Alter Ego” (Margaux 2015)
Special 6-pack price: $624 ($104/bottle)
Classified as a “Third-Growth” estate, Château Palmer is recognized as one of the top wines in Bordeaux. Only the “First-Growth” estate of Château Margaux has more renown in the appellation, and not by a large measure.
Château Palmer’s second wine “Alter Ego” is produced by the same team and from the same vineyards as the top wine of Château Palmer. It has the distinction and character of Palmer but is produced to be consumed much earlier than the estate’s top wine. The 2015 vintage for “Alter Ego” was close to ideal. A blend of 52% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot, the grapes reached a level of aromatic complexity and ripeness that rivals or exceeds the previous three excellent Bordeaux vintages of 2005, 2009, and 2010. Merlot as the dominant grape variety allows for a wine of intense fruit that is supple, fresh, juicy, and ready to drink now with the potential to develop over the course of the next decade.
Château Palmer was established in 1814 by the English general, Charles Palmer, on his way back from the Peninsular War where he had fought with Wellington against Napoleon. Yet the property is much older than its 200 years with Palmer’s name. The vineyards were originally part of a much larger estate belonging to Château d’Issan dating back another few centuries.
Today, the vines of Château Palmer cover a surface of 128 acres of “Garonne gravel” and are planted to 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. Investment in the vineyards and winemaking facilities is ongoing. The vat rooms and storage were entirely refurbished in 1995. Since then, they have added 42 temperature-controlled, conical-shaped, stainless steel vats that were designed to provide the vinification on a parcel by parcel basis, allowing for more precision in the wine making. Major renovations also took place in 2010, including a complete modernization of the grape reception area, the vat rooms and barrel cellar.
Château Palmer (Margaux 2015)
Special 6-pack price: $2,394 ($399/bottle)
Classified as a “Third-Growth” Château Palmer consistently outperforms its ranking and is considered as one of the world’s finest wines. The 2015 vintage blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. Everything that makes a great Bordeaux wine can be found in a bottle of Château Palmer. It is bursting with complex aromatics of violets, dried roses, earth, leather, and spice. Full-bodied and rich, this wine personifies elegance. In a proper cellar this wine can develop into the year 2070. The 2015 vintage of Château Palmer received 98 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.