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The 2020 Palmer, which was matured in 65% new oak, possesses one of the most perfumed bouquets of the vintage with entrancing, seductive scents of black cherries, wild strawberry, iodine and crushed violets, all beautifully delineated (as per usual). The palate is medium-bodied with fine but quite firm tannins, lending this Palmer more backbone than presupposed. Blackberry, graphite and touches of liquorice develop with aeration that build towards an assertive, pencil box-tinged finish that nods towards Pauillac. This is a Palmer destined for long-term ageing, so readers should have a cool damp cellar handy. It is a serious Palmer, very different from the previous two vintages, not a mix of the two, but content in just being itself. 14.1% alcohol.
(48% CS, 48% M, 4% PV; 55% harvest; 14.1% ABV; 65% new)
Closed, tight, dense to smell, blackcurranty, warm, almost northern Rhône smoky and Côte-Rôtie-like! A rich, generous, ample wine, with a suggestion of Rubens to its profile, yet contained and fresh, too, and very fine in tannin. Notably large-scale Palmer. Ripe, generous, juicy, mouthfilling, powerful, and spicy, with great length of flavor, something almost licoricy in its taste, long and warm and vital … and Rhône-like, and with great resonant length, too. A most individual, grand, and immediately seductive expression of the vineyard. 2030–50+.
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
The Merlot provides the broad sweep and touch of sweetness on entry, the Cabernet the fine but punchy tannins that drive the wine. Lots of life and persistence, the tannins fine-grained and fresh. Clear potential. (JL)
Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)
Vivid colours, and the aromatics grab hold straight away. This is intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical, all about the texture which is velvety and seductive with softly-grained tannins. Moves oh so slowly through the palate with dozens of layers to get hold of. The overall feel is precise, slow and seductive, with appellation and estate signature at every turn. Sappy, hawthorn freshness, rosemary, redcurrant, tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate shavings on the finish. 3.77pH, 78IPT, 55% of overall production, with 13% press wine.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2044