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Flat front label of wine

Chateau Palmer Alter Ego de Palmer 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WS90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The Merlots, rich and exuberant, remind us of the best vintages of the end of the first decade of the 2000s. The Cabernet Sauvignonsare linear and precise and in line with a 2008. This unusual marriage harmoniously highlights the smoothness, elegance and refinement of Château Palmer wines.
Blend: 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 94
James Suckling
This is amazing for the second wine with incredible white truffle, stone and currant character. Purity of fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, silky and refined. Fantastic length. Better in 2018 but almost impossible to resist now. Incredible.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another brilliant example from administrator Thomas Duroux and his team, the intense second wine, Palmer’s 2012 Alter Ego (51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot), offers up plenty of blackberry and crème de cassis notes along with some spring flowers, licorice and subtle background oak. Opulently textured, full-bodied and stunning, this is an outrageously successful second wine to drink over the next 12-15 years.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Initially densely tannic, this wine quickly reveals a more velvet character that is enhanced by the blackberry fruits. Over half the production at Palmer in 2012 was of this second wine, which is already finely integrated and developing well. Drink from 2020.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Shows good energy, with a lively savory note, a bright iron streak and enticing damson plum, black cherry and red currant fruit. Everything knits through the finish, suggesting this should be able to handle modest cellaring. Best from 2016 through 2020.
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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.

CVY4629B2_2012 Item# 183314