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The 2020 Alter Ego is very pure on the nose, almost Burgundian in style with lush blueberry, boysenberry, crushed violets and a touch of vanilla. It is not a powerful bouquet but it seems to gain momentum with aeration, finding its own voice with each swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with quite grippy tannins for Alter Ego, possibly because of tasting slightly later (Thomas Duroux commented it is the most tannic that he has produced.) Crustacea-tinged black fruit lacquer the mouth, fresh and very delineated on the finish. Maybe it needs a little more sustain on the aftertaste, though that may evolve throughout its élevage.
(50% CS, 46% M, 4% PV; 45% harvest; 13.7% ABV; 25% new)
A density to smell that is typical of many wines in the year, very Merlot blackberry, and very mineral, too; full and fresh and finely tannic; an immediately showy, ample, fruit-bomb style: generously ripe, amply juicy, fleshy, mouthfilling, spicy, but with fine length to taste, plus the necessary defining freshness, and excellent persistence. A particulary succulent, satisfying Margaux. 2026–40.
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Very much in the Alter Ego mould – lively, fruit-driven with that vineyard-fresh feel but with a little more structure than previous years. Pure and appetising but will age. (JL)
Tasted by Jane Anson (at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)
Chocolate shavings and smoked coffee bean on the nose, it's a vintage where you can't get away from the tannins, but here they have sinew and juice, like the best translation of the tannins in the year. This has real purity of fruit (very low SO2 addition at Palmer), together with the gourmet touch that you want in Alter Ego. 45% of overall production. 3.73pH. Survived mildew better than in 2018 because of experience in dealing with the conditions. August 15 to 29 for the harvest. A yield of 31hl/ha.
Drinking Window 2024 - 2038