2016 Chateau Palmer

Year: 2016
Appellation: Margaux
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 98+
Vinous Media: 100
James Suckling: 99-100
Wine Enthusiast: 98-100--Jeff Leve: 97
Red Wine


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"The 2016 Palmer is a blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Opaque garnet-purple colored, it slowly glides out of the glass with compelling notes of blueberry compote, warm cassis and kirsch with emerging hints of violets, cigar box, black tea, sandalwood and Sichuan pepper. Medium to full-bodied, wonderfully rich, concentrated and packed with latent energy, the palate literally grows in the mouth, revealing layer upon layer of black, blue and red fruits and tons of floral sparks, framed by super ripe, incredibly fine-grained tannins and finishing with epic length. It’s a wine that makes you wanna drape yourself languidly over a chaise lounge, glass of Palmer in hand, sighing with deep satisfaction, “This is so wonderfully Palmer.”

“We had 2009 and 2010, we’ll have 2015 and 2016,” Palmer’s CEO Thomas Duroux told me, alluding to the comparisons being made throughout Bordeaux to the last great pair of vintages. “But of course,” he added, “they are two very different expressions.” There was some mildew pressure at Palmer in 2016, which is a larger problem at organic/biodynamically managed estates such as this. Subsequently, the crop was a relatively modest 29 hectoliters per hectare, down from an average of say 35 hectoliters per hectare. “It was a milder summer, not too much heat,” Duroux further observed. “So there was not too much alcohol this year and nothing jammy.”" (WA)

"Technical Director Thomas Duroux and his team made one of the most brilliant wines of the 2016 vintage. Palmer is simply exceptional. Rich and dramatically sweeping in the glass, the 2016 is breathtaking. All the elements simply fall into place in a wine of mesmerizing beauty. The counterpoint of dark, sumptuous fruit and floral notes makes for an utterly compelling Palmer that will take its place among the estate's finest vintages. Dark cherry, lavender, spice and mocha are some of the many notes that build into a deep, substantial finish that is truly unforgettable. In a word: magnificent!" (VM)

"I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. It’s equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. " (JS)

"98–100. Barrel Sample. Potentially an 100-point wine, this is beautifully ripe and rich, with sweet tannins as well as opulent black fruit tones. A higher than usual proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend gives the wine its density, sophistication and great sense of presence." (WE)

"If you are seeking sexiness, purity of fruit, silky textures and an incredible blend of freshness, precision and sensuality that can age for decades, you came to the right place. This is just a great wine. 2291 Views Tasted May 20, 2018" (JL)

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