Château Palmer 2010
“Palmer can be as profound as many first growths, and in vintages such as … 1995, 2001, 2004 and 2005, it can be better than many of them.
“The style of Palmer is one of sensational fragrance and bouquet, so much so that great vintages can be identified in blind tastings by their smell alone. The wine’s texture is rich, often supple and lush, and the flavour is always deeply fruity and concentrated. Recent vintages have been formidable efforts…”
— Robert Parker
Back-to-back very great vintages are hardly a frequent occurrence. In terms of quality, 2010 benefited from exceptionally favourable weather, like the 2009 vintage.
Although the alcohol content is very high, like in 2009, the acidity — synonymous with freshness — and tannic concentration are greater, making for wines with an extremely solid foundation. Their power, combined with a high level of acidity, gives them the potential for becoming benchmarks, and for this to be a legendary vintage. Furthermore, as opposed to previous vintages of the century that are responsible for Bordeaux’s reputation, the ability to choose exactly the right time to pick and the perfect control of extraction made it possible to temper the wines’ strength and vigour. They are like a finely cut diamond that, over time, will fully express all the delicacy of Château Palmer’s terroir.
After a late start to the growing season that protected the vines from spring frosts, bud break took place evenly in the month of April. By late May, the size of the potential crop appeared excellent. However, fertilization was greatly upset by a cold, wet period in June that caused flowering to be very spread out and led to a significant amount of coulure (shattered berries), thereby reducing hopes for a large crop. The weather in July was particularly warm and favourable, eliminating any heterogeneity in the vines after flowering, and véraison (colour change) occurred fairly quickly. This very beautiful weather — sunny, but not excessively hot, with cool nights — lasted without interruption until the end of the harvest.
The 2010 vintage also had a very marked water deficit that grew as the summer went on. This accounted for even greater phenolic concentration than in 2009 (which was already high), as well as very small berries with astonishing aromatic richness and well-preserved acidity. A few very welcome millimetres of rain in the second week of September (35mm in Margaux) fortunately speeded up ripening of the skins in certain areas strongly affected by water stress. Thanks to these particularly favourable conditions, we were able to take our time in order to pick each plot at peak ripeness. In fact, the 2010 harvest was the longest in Château Palmer’s recent history.
Château Palmer 2010
$1,180.00 per bottle
Notes and Reviews
James Suckling (98)
A purity of fruit here with plum and dark chocolate undertones. Spices and treacle tart as well. Full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a long, long finish. Very fine indeed. Fit, fruity and reserved. Superb.
|Grape Varieties||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot|
|Age of Vines||35 years old|
|Vinification||28-30 days' fermentation in cone-shaped stainless-steel tanks.|
|Elevage||20-22 months' ageing in oak barrels (45% new oak)|
|Soil Type||Gunzian gravel, sand and clay underlay|