Château Palmer, Margaux 2005
Duroux described this as the ‘rocking chair’ vintage because of the perfect harvest conditions that required very little effort. The growing season provided small berries with great concentration and ripeness, he recalled. But the thing about 2005 is that it wasn’t lacking freshness and this is certainly a case in point. There’s lovely sweetness and structure here, but also great vitality and lift. On the nose are blackberry, lead pencil and cedar aromas. The palate has these and more with notes of chocolate, tobacco and spice. You’ll find ripe tannins, great structure and mid palate depth providing a long savoury finish. The result is a profound wine of great class, balance and complexity.
Taster: John Stimpfig
One of the most famed estates of Margaux, only behind Château Margaux itself. The estate is a 3ème Cru Classé but has long been considered a supersecond. The estate is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Merlot 40%, Cabernet Franc 5% – with the high proportion of Merlot setting it apart from many left bank properties. Strong cloves on the nose, this remains very young at 10 years old, but has the heady perfume that makes Palmer such a distinctive and beguiling wine. A hefty wine, ambitious and muscular (this vintage is 47% Cabernet Sauvignon with 47% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot). Notes of incense and damsons. You have to sit with the glass, let it unfurl on your tongue, needs food if you are drinking soon. Showcases the power of 2005, and its success.
Taster: Jane Anson
Tasted: Q4 2015