Chateau Palmer 2016

Chateau Palmer 2016

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( regular price: $379.99 )

During a stagecoach rise across France, Marie Brunet de Feiere agreed to sell her Domaine de Gasq to Charles Palmer, a Lieutenant in the British Army. Charles spent the next 30 years enlarging the estate. In 1843, Charles sold the estate to the Pereire family. In 1856, they picturesque chateau that adorns the label was built. In 1938, the Chateau was sold to a group of 4 families. Over the next few years, the Mahler Besse and Sichel families purchased all the shares of the other 2 families. Currently there are 22 shareholders of Chateau Palmer.

Chateau Palmer is 66 hectares and is planted with 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. The vines average 38 years of age. All Cabernet Franc has been removed from the vineyards even though some of the vineyards were over 70 years old. Chateau Palmer was certified as 100% Bio dynamic in 2017. One of the most interesting experiments at Chateau Palmer is the use of sound wave machines that emit vibrations and tones for grape development.

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Wine Advocate: 97
The 2016 Palmer is a blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 29 hectoliters per hectare between 3 and 18 October. Matured in 65% new oak (my sample coming from a used barrel), the bouquet is perhaps not quite as intense as some of its peers and takes time to click into fifth gear. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, briary and mineral scents; it is very focused, but maybe less extrovert and more classic in style compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, quite firm in the mouth with slightly tarry black fruit, hints of black truffle developing towards the finish that feels masculine and linear. It has very impressive length, completing what is an intellectual Palmer, one that I suspect will really blossom in bottle.
Decanter: 98
The grand vin represents 65% of production in 2016, the highest ever. It has many similarities in style with the 2001 and 1986, being a classically styled wine full of soft slate, fern, liquorice and cassis, but from the modern era where you can achieve so much more precision. This is a wine that makes you smile from the first sip, and keeps on getting better, caressing you gently across the palate. There is never any let up through the mid-palate, and the biodynamics that have been practised here for the past few years are clearly paying off. Elegant, utterly silky and precise, the structure is just effortless with reasonably fresh alcohols that are the result of late ripening. A perfect example of the appellation, it has the florality, density and slow tannic pace that means it takes you right along with it as the flavours build. The blend is 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Intellectual without being overbearing, and built to age. This is impressive stuff.
Wine Enthusiast: 100
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.
Vinous: 98
Sophisticated and polished from the outset, the 2016 Palmer is utterly captivating. Dark shades of fruit, accented by hints of smoke, leather and discreet French oak open up in the glass, but it is the wine'e effortless, gracious personality that stands out most. The 2016 literally hovers on the palate with exquisite grace. I can't wait to see how it ages.
James Suckling: 100
I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. Its equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet theres 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.