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Chateau Palmer 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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14% ABV
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4.6 7 Ratings
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4.6 7 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The relatively high alcoholic content of the 2015 vintage is balanced out by a dense tannic structure without any rustic notes, thanks to perfect phenolic maturity of the pips and skins. At this time, this outstanding balance leads Chateau Palmer to believe that 2015 will be in line with recent great vintages, such as 2010, 2009 and 2005.

Blend: 44% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling
I am breathless with the dark-berry, lavender and burnt-orange aromas. Some salt. Just so formidable and deep. Stunningly sexy on the palate with a density and power, yet it leaves things so clean and bright. You want to drink it and enjoy it now, but it has the structure to last forever. Drink in 2022.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bottled relatively late in mid-September 2017, the 2015 Palmer is a blend of 44% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with a small portion of Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it offers vibrant red currants, black cherries, wild blueberries, earth and mineral characteristics to begin, with slowly unfurling floral notes of violets and dried roses plus compelling baker’s chocolate and fragrant earth layers. Medium to full-bodied, generously fruited and possessing firm yet very, very fine-grained, mind-blowingly ripe tannins, the multifaceted palate features something of a skip in its step in terms of freshness, while it goes beguilingly earthy on the finish with some mineral hints. Very classy, elegant and sophisticated, this vintage is downright regal in its juxtaposition between poise and audaciousness. Think 2005 Palmer with a tick more fruit intensity, perfume and passion.
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
Generous, rich and powerful, this is a sumptuous wine. With just a slight preponderance of Cabernet Sauvignon, it has structure as well as clean, clear black-currant flavors. Produced from biodynamically grown grapes, it delivers an explosion of fruit as well as serious tannins. Drink from 2027.
Cellar Selection
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
One of the gems in Margaux is unquestionably the 2015 Palmer. Possessing more elegance and purity, as well as concentration, than the Alter Ego, it offers up a gorgeous bouquet of crème de cassis, caramelized cherries, charcoal, and graphite, with just a hint of spring flowers in the background. A final blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot that was brought up in 70% new oak, this full-bodied, ripe, incredibly polished 2015 is already hard to resist given its elegance and purity, yet should be at its best from 2023-2043. If you have more than one bottle, it's sensational today as well.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This is dark and muscular in style, brimming with bramble, warm tar and paving stone notes that are matched by the deep layers of fig, blackberry and cassis fruit. A gorgeous bittersweet chocolate detail adds spine to the finish while violet and iron elements lurk in reserve. Another large wave of fruit and dark earth courses through the finish. Best from 2025 through 2045.
D 95
Decanter
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.
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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 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.

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.

BLF153453_2015 Item# 153453