Chateau Palmer   Palmer

1996 Palmer

By Chateau Palmer

Current market price



Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


Compared to the ’95 Palmer, this is more reticent on the nose with more secondary aromas: fresh tobacco, sandalwood, leather and a slight clayey scent that turns overtly chocolaty with 20-30 minutes in glass. Good definition though and the palate does not disappoint. Medium-bodied, perhaps slightly aggressive tannins, particularly compared to the ’95, a little angular towards the finish with cedar, strawberry and stoned fruits (dates and a touch of fresh fig) right on the end. Again, it needs more time and the ’95 seems to have more breeding, but this remains a worthy Palmer that just needs to loosen up and enjoy itself a bit. Drink 2010-2025. Tasted March 2008.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jan 2009


This wine, a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, is performing well after its July, 1998 bottling. It boasts an impressively saturated purple color, in addition to a backward yet intense nose of black plums, currants, licorice, and smoke. Following terrific fruit on the attack, the wine's structure and tannin take over. There is plenty of sweet fruit, and the tannin is well-integrated, but the wine requires 7-8 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2028.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999


Tasted at the Château Palmer vertical in London, the 1996 Château Palmer is a wine that never quite fulfilled its potential. There is satisfactory fruit intensity on the nose, blackberry and truffle, a touch of vanilla and violet developing with time in the glass. The palate still feels a little backward, but there is good grip and freshness. This is a harmonious 1996 Margaux and yet it feels conservative and straight-laced on the tobacco-infused finish. It is quite a "serious" Palmer, yet it does not quite back it up in terms of complexity or, for want of a better word, "soul." Good...but you end up wanting more, especially having tasted the likes of 2000, 2005 and 2010 alongside. Tasted May 2015.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 29 May 2016

Vintage performance