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Chateau Palmer (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016

  • WE100
  • JD100
  • JS98
  • D98
  • RP97
  • WS94
1500ML / 0% ABV
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1500ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
Powerful tannins and hugely rich fruit balance together in this superb wine. The velvet texture belies the power behind the concentrated, ripe black-fruit flavor, with vibrant acidity giving ample lift. The wine’s structure will ensure aging for many years. Drink from 2024.
Cellar Selection
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
The finest vintage I’ve ever tasted from this estate, surpassing the 2009 and 2010, the 2016 Château Palmer is a blend of 47% each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Petit Verdot, all of which was brought up in 65% new French oak. This magical effort reveals a saturated purple color as well as a huge nose of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, and spring flowers, and it develops beautifully with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, incredibly concentrated and powerful, it nevertheless just glides over the palate with flawless purity and balance, present, ripe tannins, and a finish that just won’t quit. This is Bordeaux at its most regal and classic. It will be drinkable with just 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for half a century.
JS 98
James Suckling
Such attractive fruit and alluring ripeness that it draws you in from the get-go. The discreet power here is delivered with a very astute touch. Assorted dark-berry aromas, as well as red plums, abound on the nose. The richness and depth in the mouth is stunning. The tannins are super polished and layered and they draw pristine dark fruit flavors deep into the finish in effortless mode. This is a star of the vintage. A blend of 47 per cent merlot, 47 per cent cabernet sauvignon and six per cent petit verdot. Try from 2024.
D 98
Decanter
As is always the case with Palmer, the richness, depth and silkiness is just so impressive. Sophisticated and well constructed, with a vertical lift-off, there's a creamy richness on the palate which supports pencil-lead, liquorice, damson, black cherry and slate. I love the smoky cocoa bean finish. Like the Alter Ego, it's a different style this year but no less impressive, displaying width, heft and incredible persistency. It's a wine that's going to age far into the future and is extremely easy to recommend. The highest ever proportion of grand vin was produced in 2016.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Palmer is a blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 29 hectoliters per hectare between 3 and 18 October. Matured in 65% new oak (my sample coming from a used barrel), the bouquet is perhaps not quite as intense as some of its peers and takes time to click into fifth gear. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, briary and mineral scents; it is very focused, but maybe less extrovert and more classic in style compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, quite firm in the mouth with slightly tarry black fruit, hints of black truffle developing towards the finish that feels masculine and linear. It has very impressive length, completing what is an intellectual Palmer, one that I suspect will really blossom in bottle.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points
WS 94
Wine Spectator
This is a very solid rendering, with a core of steeped blackberry, black currant and fig fruit flavors that are juicy and well-defined. The back end picks up lots of graphite, tobacco, anise and violet notes while maintaining focus and energy. Shows latent depth as the fruit echoes steadily. Best from 2023 through 2038.
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Chateau Palmer

Chateau Palmer

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Chateau Palmer, France
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A gentleman, officer, and aide-de-camp of the Prince of Wales, Charles Palmer was famous at the English court as a ladies man and for his military victories. He fell under the spell of Bordeaux as well as the charms of Marie de Gascq, a beautiful widow who convinced him to buy her estate.

Charles Palmer devoted a great deal of time, energy, and money to developing his property. The Major General lived mainly in England, and so the estate was managed by his authorized representative, Mr Grey, who helped to increase the wine's reputation among wealthy connoisseurs.

In June 1853, the brothers Isaac and Emile Péreire, famous bankers and rivals of the Rothschilds, bought Palmer and began investing in the estate immediately. However, there was not enough time to bring Chateau Palmer up to first growth status in time for the famous 1855 classification. It was thus ranked a Third Growth, although it is widely recognized as among the greatest wines of Bordeaux.

Several families of Bordeaux, English, and Dutch extraction all involved in the wine trade, united to buy Palmer in 1938 and have worked hard to give the estate its present reputation. These families have always given priority to quality, despite the financial risk this entailed. They have unfailingly applied the principles that have made the great wines of Bordeaux so successful: authenticity, quality, and permanence.

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Margaux

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Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BANF202486_2016 Item# 202486