An­son’s pick: a taste of Château Palmer

Decanter - - INTERVIEW -

Château Palmer, Mar­gaux 3CC 2015 98

£ 272.60-£ 305 Farr Vint­ners, Ge­orges Bar­bier of London (POA), Mil­lésima, Nick­olls & Perks, Top Se­lec­tion (POA) 50% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, 44% Mer­lot, 6% Pe­tit Ver­dot. Silky, ethe­real, touches of cin­na­mon, white pep­per. At this point Palmer was cer­ti­fied bio­dy­namic and low­er­ing the use of sul­phur, and it’s hard not to make the link with the com­plex ar­ray of aro­mat­ics and flavours that are re­leased in the glass here. There is a clear sweet­ness to the fruit – dam­son, black­berry, black cherry – along with a slate con­trac­tion in the tex­ture. All those words used to ex­press wine re­ally come to life here: you feel the depth and in­ten­sity but it takes off, mov­ing up­wards through the palate and it’s hard not to be se­duced by the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence. Drink 2023-2045 Al­co­hol 14%

Château Palmer, Mar­gaux 3CC 2010 97

£ 337 Mil­lésima, Top Se­lec­tion (POA) 40% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, 54% Mer­lot, 6% Pe­tit Ver­dot. Still in­cred­i­bly closed, a hugely con­cen­trated, bril­liant wine that is both con­fi­dent and as­sured. Lay­ers of tan­nins pul­sate through the palate, high­light­ing the sheer den­sity of flavour. It widens but also set­tles it­self in the glass – and frankly it’s hard to say when it will truly be ready. There are hints of what it will be­come; af­ter a good 15 min­utes, lay­ers of liquorice, smoked ba­con, black olives, vi­o­lets and wafts of rosemary start to ap­pear. Mon­u­men­tal. Drink 2024-2045 Alc 14.5%

Château Palmer, Mar­gaux 3CC 2006 96

£ 195.95-£ 262 CA Rookes, Mil­lésima, Top Se­lec­tion (POA), Un­corked 44% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, 56% Mer­lot. A clear step up from the 2004, even though the vin­tages were not dis­sim­i­lar in style. A more del­i­cate grain of tan­nins is on dis­play, per­haps be­cause 2006 was the first vin­tage where they took a more rig­or­ous ap­proach in the vine­yard. Very dark fruits: cas­sis and bil­berry. This is gen­tle in its spic­ing, fi­nessed and ex­pan­sive through the mid-palate, mouth­wa­ter­ing on the fin­ish. Opens in waves as it sits in the glass. Drink 2019-2034 Alc 13%

Château Palmer, Mar­gaux 3CC 2004 93

£ 200 Farr Vint­ners, Top Se­lec­tion (POA) 46% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, 47% Mer­lot, 7% Pe­tit Ver­dot. Well-in­te­grated tan­nins and the first stir­rings of ter­tiary flavours. Not quite ready to drink, but the rich swirl of black­berry, soft cedar and au­tum­nal hedgerow is al­ready clear. This is a slightly more tra­di­tional take on Mar­gaux than re­cent vin­tages of Palmer, but it has a glo­ri­ous sense of earthy plea­sure. From the first year that Thomas Duroux ar­rived at the es­tate, though he did not get in­volved in wine­mak­ing un­til the 2005 vin­tage. Drink 2019-2030 Alc 13%

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