Photos are for display purposes only and may have an out-of-date vintage, bottle shape or label.
Chateau Palmer 2018
100 Points - Decanter
Beautifully rich even on the nose, this makes you smile from the first moment. On the palate things are intense and concentrated, as you might expect with an 11hl/ha yield (mildew-related). Upfront flavours major on big bitter chocolate with touches of smoke and grilled cedar, lots of savoury fruits and touches of reduction. Extremely impressive how layered and textured it is, though it really needs decades to reveal itself. There is the seductive floral edge of Palmer as it opens in the glass, but this is a muscular wine that needs time. 79% new oak. Bottled July 2020 after one year in barrel and a second year in larger Stockinger barrels for 20% of the crop to soften the oak influence. It's extremely hard for top estates to deliver consistency and innovation over decades, it really is like a sports team in that way, and this is a standout success in what was an extremely challenging year for Palmer. Drinking Window 2028 - 2050.
100 Points - Vinous
The 2018 Palmer is a legend in the making. I had an inkling out of barrel, but such was its intensity that I wanted to assess it in bottle before I felt confident in saying so, because this could have gone either way. It storms from the glass with black fruit and floral scents, crushed violet and incense that knock your senses sideways while retaining brilliant delineation and focus. The palate is not quite as bold and brassy as when I tasted it from barrel, though I can vouchsafe that among over 20 vintages of Palmer that I have tasted at this stage, this is easily the most extroverted and powerful, displaying a kind of intense black fruit counterpoised by a razor sharp line of acidity. This audacious Palmer was still revving its engines 48 hours after opening. There will never be another Palmer like this. It was a massive risk. But by throwing caution to the wind, something extraordinary was born.