Chateau Palmer   Palmer

2018 Palmer

By Chateau Palmer

2018 Palmer from Chateau Palmer, Margaux, Bordeaux

The esteemed 2018 Palmer from Chateau Palmer, a beacon within the illustrious Margaux appellation, stands as a testament to precise viticulture and vinification. This particular Bordeaux vintage nestled into an exceptional year where the harmony of weather conditions serendipitously conspired to craft what may be considered a modern classic.


Investing in Provenance: The 2018 Palmer Vintage

Astrologically speaking, the 2018 vintage in Margaux, Bordeaux found Jupiter in alignment with bountiful harvests. But beyond celestial fortune, Chateau Palmer's renowned biodynamic approach yielded a crop with magnificent balance. The 2018 Palmer embodies this favour with the poise and structure that have become the hallmarks of its terroir. For investors seeking vintages with cellar-worthy potential, 2018 is a beacon amidst the sapphire clusters of Bordeaux's elite offerings.


The Distinction of Unpredictable Climes

Pitted against climatic unpredictability, the growing season commenced with wet months but shifted towards a hot and dry zenith during summer. Such contrast has been woven into the 2018 Palmer's character; look for dark cassis notes harmonised with violet undertones, suggestive of its core Margaux identity. A soft palate weight provides accessibility not always immediate in such prestigious labels. Inspect closely, and one uncovers polished Josephine tannins that encapsulate Chateau Palmer's continuous evolution and adaptive winemaking finesse.

Data-driven wine investment should sit eye-to-eye with passion-driven enology, and in this realm, the 2018 Palmer expresses both data-backed promise and emotive artisanship—a virtue to entice collectors and enthusiasts.

Divinatory prescience aside, we find here a vintage that stands as one of the most investable pieces to come out of Chateau Palmer’s cellars in recent years. The stamina suggested by its inception leads me to believe that, in time, it will not just beckon but demand the attention it rightfully deserves.

Understanding the inflection points between meteorological challenge and viticultural triumph is key for astute investors wagering on the eternal jeu de patience that is fine wine speculation. In sum, the 2018 Palmer from Chateau Palmer serves as a touchstone—a guiding light destined to age with grace and profitability.

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Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


Possibly the most talked about estate in the vintage, with its mildew-induced 11hl/ha yields making waves all the way back at harvest time. They made it through though, and have made an exceptional wine that will clearly be discussed and enjoyed for years to come. There's no denying that the yields have had an impact - even in the colour you see a rich, velvety density with the violet edging that suggests a good pH (it's 3.83, so a touch higher than usual). There is a stunning sweetness to the cassis and bilberry fruits, and it retains the finesse and floral aromatics of Palmer even with the concentration, complexity and depth on show here. It also has the signature of the vintage, and despite the volume of tannins it feels silky and seductive, and you wonder if it will close down at all. This certainly has a long life ahead of it. Sadly there is no Alter Ego in 2018, for the first time since it was created in 1998, with the production of the grand vin down by about 50% on a normal year. Harvest ran from 13 September to 15 October, and 90% of production went into the grand vin due to the low yields. No sulphur was added to the fruit until after malo, and it is aged in 70% new oak, already barely discernible. Thomas Duroux said, by the way, that if mildew pressure happened again to this extent, he would treat despite his strong commitment to biodynamics. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. 98-100 points.

Jane Anson - Decanter - April 2019


The level of glycerine sets this apart, giving the cascade of plum, currant, blackberry and black cherry fruit extra oomph, while seeming to heighten the purity at the same time. Beautiful violet, incense and juniper notes flash in the background. This is packed with iron-laced grip, but remains seamless and extremely long. I suspect this will be one of the most talked-about wines of the vintage.—J.M.

James Molesworth - Wine Spectator - April 2019


The 2018 Palmer is composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. The wine has a 3.83 pH and 14.3% alcohol. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it explodes from the glass with atomic scents of blackberry preserves, crème de cassis and blueberry pie, plus suggestions of red roses, clove oil, dark chocolate and cedar chest with hints of Chinese five spice and menthol. The full-bodied palate is decadently styled, offering layer upon layer of black fruit preserves and exotic spices, framed by exquisitely plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing wonderfully fragrant and with epic length. It's an amazingly beautiful beast of a wine—one for the hedonists!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 31 March 2021


The 2018 Palmer is composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. Grapes were harvested September 13 to October 15, and the wine has a 3.83 pH and 14.3% alcohol. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is a little reticent to begin, but with coaxing, it slowly emerges to show fragrant violets, underbrush, mossy bark and iron ore with exponentially growing notions of crème de cassis, Black Forest cake, plum preserves, hoisin, Christmas cake and red roses with wafts of dusty earth, Indian spices and cracked black pepper. Full-bodied, concentrated and downright powerful in the mouth, it has a solid structure of firm, wonderfully plush tannins and masses of fragrant accents, finishing very long and very spicy. By the time I finished tasting this, the nose had exploded in this fragrant bomb of fruit, earth and floral notions. This is one of those 2018 wines that has a beguiling brightness that comes from the many floral, spice and mineral accents among all that rich fruit. WOW!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 23rd April 2019


The 2018 Palmer is a freak of nature from yields of just 11 hectoliters per hectare harvested over an entire month by CEO Thomas Duroux and his team. Rich, unctuous and flamboyant in its ripeness, the 2018 possesses off the charts intensity from start to finish. Blackberry jam, espresso, crème de cassis, licorice, menthol, lavender and cloves develop in a palate-staining, hedonistic Palmer that oozes with personality. This extravagantly ripe Margaux won't be for everyone, but it is a stunning, head-spinning wine that may, in time, very well join the ranks of the truly epic Palmers. A wine of pure and total pleasure, the 2018 is nearly impossible to resist. The blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. In 2018, Palmer bottled just their Grand Vin and no Alter Ego.

Antonio Galloni - Vinous - April 2019


It is the essence of cabernet fruit with density that is so thick that it has the texture of grape puree. Full body and melted tannins that give the wine a sense of velvet. Very soft and juicy. With air, it goes to bright, crushed black currants. Tar. Fresh tannins give it energy. I have never tasted anything like this in all my 38 years as a wine critic in Bordeaux. From tiny berries of cabernet sauvignon (53 per cent), 40 per cent merlot and seven per cent petit verdot.

James Suckling - - April 2019

Vintage performance