Address: Château Palmer Cantenac 33460 Margaux France
Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 88 72 72
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Margaux, 3ème cru classé, 55ha, gravelly
Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 47%, Merlot Noir 47%, Petit Verdot 6%
Though ranked Third Growth in 1855, Palmer is for many rivalled only by First Growth Chateau Margaux – and Palmer 1961 is one of the great wines of the 20th century. Legend says namesake British army general Charles Palmer bought the vineyard while on his way home after the 1814 Battle of Toulouse. The sellers, the Gascqs, had produced a good quality wine from their exceptional, gravelly terroir, but Palmer spent over-freely on expansion and promoting: finances exhausted, he lost it all in 1843. By 1853, banking brothers Isaac and Emile Pereire were in charge. They reorganised, added the château, and generally battled with turn of the century tribulations – until the 1930s recession beat them too. Credit for today’s fine estate stems from a 1938 takeover by the Bordeaux wine families of Sichel, Mähler-Besse, Ginestet and Miailhe. Today, Sichel and Mähler-Besse remain.