Alter Ego de Palmer 2014
Alter Ego was born with the 1998 vintage. It resulted from a new approach to selecting and blending devised to interpret the Château Palmer terroir differently without departing from the values that make the reputation of our wines – namely, finesse and elegance, aromatic richness, harmony and length.
Offering intense, crispy and juicy fruits, Alter Ego is a spontaneous uninhibited wine, soft and round as soon as it has finished barrel ageing. Its lush aromas and supple tannins make it a wine that can be appreciated in the first years after bottling.
In 1814, General Charles Palmer purchased the wine estate of Madame de Gascq, and subsequently gave it his name. Two hundred years later, Château Palmer continues to write its own history from one vintage to the next.
Early in the summer, the sun had played and endless game of hide-and-seek. But when the 2014 harvest ended on Tuesday, October 14, it was under the same glorious sun that we had enjoyed all throughout September. Everything had started quite well: a rainy winter had allowed the estate to renew its water reserves. In the spring, flowering went well, despite a few cases of poor fruit set among the older Merlots. At this point, we had high hopes for the quality of this new vintage. But beginning in July, the weather became unstable and the vines focused on their fine foliage, to the detriment of their grapes.
The month of August wasn’t much better — veraison was slow and the berries began to swell… Luckily the sun finally returned at the end of August. Little by little, September’s extraordinary weather conditions modified the profile of the 2014 vintage. The difference in veraison between the vines diminished and the size of the berries decreased, concentrating all the elements that make up this new vintage: sugar, anthocyanin and tannin levels all increased.
On September 22, we harvested the first plot, beginning with some young Merlots. The particularly good weather allowed us to harvest perfectly ripe grapes, with no risk of botrytis. In the cellar, the spotlight was on innovation. After two years of experiments in reducing the level of sulphur in our wines, we decided to not add any sulphur to the harvested grapes to let them immediately express their complexity.
At this stage the wines of the 2014 vintage are an excellent reflection of the diversity of the estate’s plots. Each personality is expressed in these two blends as if a veil had been lifted. It is without a doubt one of the first results of our biodynamic approach.
Alter Ego de Palmer 2014
Notes and Reviews
James Suckling (93)
Aromas of spices and earth with mushrooms. Dark fruit. Full-bodied, dense and rich with earth and spices. A beauty. Soft and juicy. Savoury yet exotic. From biodynamically grown grapes. First year. Drink or hold.
|Grape Varieties||Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot|
|Age of Vines||30 years old|
|Vinification||28-30 days' fermentation in cone-shaped stainless-steel tanks|
|Elevage||18 months in oak barrels|
|Soil Type||Gunzian gravel, sand and clay underlay|