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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Chateau Palmer 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Purple-ruby color of very high intensity. Expressive nose of very ripe dark berries, bracken, cinnamon, wood, peony, violet, smoke, and fresh mint. Perfectly ripe fruitiness, full, tender tannins and lots of freshness in the mouth. Elegance is the prevailing note here with an ideal expression of the terroir. The finish is already long and gorgeous.

Perfect balance is in view but still requires a little time to emerge and to let the pure drinking pleasure take hold. Peak: 2010-2025

Blend: 47% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Fairly deep color. Gorgeous smoky, floral nose is flamboyant and seductive. It’s bright, intense, with rich cherry fruit, mint, and tobacco. The wonderful fruit character on the nose returns in the mouth; it’s soft and velvety, drinking beautifully right now! The 2004 is not one of the more complex Palmers, more floral and delicate than powerful, but everyone loved it. The terrific performance of the 2004 was easily the biggest surprise of the entire tasting.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This wine hits the opulent end of the spectrum, with its dense, velvet structure, and superrich fruit. But it is not weighed down with this richness, because the pure fruit, the fine lines of the tannins and the very precise character of the vanilla from the wood all give liveliness.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Aromas of licorice, tar and mineral follow through to a full-bodied palate, with silky tannins and a medium finish. A very pretty wine already. Falls a little short, but still outstanding. Best after 2009. 6,000 cases made.
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Chateau Palmer

Chateau Palmer

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Chateau Palmer, Margaux, Bordeaux, 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 Château 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.

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 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.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

PDG111578_2004 Item# 111578