Tasting Notes Palmer 2017
This is a sexy and well-formed 2017 with very velvety and suave tannins that go on for minutes. Full-bodied, soft and round. Extremely long and last for minutes.
The 2017 Palmer, a blend of 54% Merlot with 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, is very deep purple-black in color and leaps from the glass with freshly macerated blue and black fruits: wild blueberries, blackberries and black cherries plus hints of licorice, rose hips, tilled soil and oolong tea with a waft of truffles. Medium-bodied, very finely crafted with exquisitely ripe and smooth yet firm tannins and sporting great mid-palate intensity and wonderful freshness, it finishes long and minerally.
All the elements of the château come through beautifully in the 2017 Palmer. Dark, succulent and inviting, Palmer expresses the forward, fresh style of the year very nicely. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate and dark spice notes fill out the wine's frame effortlessly. The 2017 is an understated wine of great promise. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. The blend is 54% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Technical Director Thomas Duroux told me his team harvested all the fruit in nine days as opposed to the more typical 2-3 weeks. The 2017s were done with no SO2 at crush. Duroux stopped the pumpovers early and favored gentle extractions. Both wines are in the 13-13.2 range of finished alcohol.
The 2017 Palmer was cropped at 38hl/ha between 20 and 29 September and then matured in 65% new oak (though this sample was taken from a used barrel as usual). For me there is quite a large difference between the Palmer and Alter Ego, the bouquet here is much more sophisticated and demonstrating more delineation: black fruit, iris, brown spices, a touch of clove and a subtle brine influence in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, crisp acidity, smooth and harmonious with a palpable sense of tension. I love the purity here, almost to an extent that I felt like asking Thomas Duroux to eschew the new oak! This has great potential and I love the typicité that I hope will not be obstructed.
This is solidly ripe, with juicy energy adding extra lift to the mix of plum, cherry and blackberry fruit. A super-fresh iron streak checks in, along with mouthwatering bay and savory notes. This stands out from the pack.—J.M.