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Vintage after vintage, the wines of Château Palmer express our vision of an exceptional wine. We believe that it is born of the mysterious trilogy – terroir, history, memory – and all of our efforts are concentrated on bringing it into the world. Distinction, high standards and commitment are the values that guide every choice we make from the vineyard to the table where the wine is served.
Knowing your terroir, your grapes, and your wines – this is a threefold enterprise of patient observation. What seems to be a given is in fact a matter of exacting standards at every moment. To know the terroir you have to become intimately familiar with it. We strive to know the grape variety, subsoil, and exposure of each and every plot but also of each and every row within the plot, as we regard every vine as a unique individual. To know our grapes well, we closely monitor their development until maturity. To know our wines, we taste the batches, the vats, the barrels, and the bottles again and again.
Progress in œnology has provided us with insight into the development of wines. Progress in agronomy has given us a better understanding of the life of our vineyards. This makes for more precision in our interventions as much in the winery as in the vineyards. Applying the best technical innovations in a spirit of reconciliation between science and craftsmanship, we use all relevant means to reveal the unique character of the Palmer terroir with each new vintage.
With the grapes that nature offers us, our job is to create the best possible wine. Is this craftsmanship or artistry? No doubt both. Like skilled craftspeople that love their trade, we select and blend the batches with meticulous care. And like artists, we let ourselves be swept away by the work that is born, as it imposes itself upon our will, surprises, amazes and transcends us.
Ultimately our goal is to make Château Palmer wines as desirable as can be. To achieve this, everything we do, whether we work in the vineyard, the winery, or in the offices, is informed by high standards and a sense of detail Nothing is left to chance, not the choice of paper for a label, or that of an etching for the wood crates, or of a theme for a reception.
Characteristics of the Palmer 1959 vintage
A truly outstanding vintage and the first to be qualified as “the vintage of the century”.
Flowering took place in excellent conditions thanks to fine, mild weather in spring. July was hot and dry with exceptionally high temperatures. The dry weather continued in August and this led to widespread vine stress. As a result, the ripening process slowed down considerably until some welcome rainfall came in mid September. Throughout the harvest the weather remained fine and dry.
1959 was a hot, dry year that produced powerful, full-bodied wines. They are rich and opulent in style, with intense colour and low acidity.
Harvest dates: from 09/21/1959 to 10/07/1959
www.cellartracker.com, Eric Levine, 06/01/2006
« Smoky, sultry, WOW what a nose!!! Mmm, the palate entry is spicy, cedar, some Asian Five Spice, very sharp and intense. And as intense as it was when you first sipped it, this was utterly seamless across the palate, unreal, just unreal texture. This was my preferred wine of the flight, and wow what a treat!!!
The Vine, Clive Coates, 04/01/2004
« Superior to Château Margaux itself, which is elegant, refined and fragrant, though now showing a bit of age, is Palmer, another of the stars of the vintage. This is a wine of great finesse and complexity, a lovely subtle, fruity, velvety bottle, which still has a fine future ahead of it.
Medium-full, mature colour. Splendidly rich, complex nose. This is even better than Château Margaux, good as it is. It is richer, fatter and more old viney. Though the colour is less intense, this is more profound and more vigorous at the end. Super. »
Engagement, JNT, 01/01/2001
« The 59 is an interesting bottle. The two I have were bottled in the UK (as I believe was common practice during that time). We opened this one to celebrate our engaugement.
After decanting and blowing off the usual old wine funk smell this wine opened up after about 30 minutes in the glass to reveal Palmers trademark floral notes- with hints of fruit and subtle nuances of terroir in the background-mushrooms, grains, etc., a wonderful balance across the palate incorperated with a stable/soft tannins...followed by a lengty finish of about 25 seconds. This is one of the most outstanding Palmers I have had. It has the guts to last another 30 years easily. If only I could find more. »
Bordeaux Total, René Gabriel, 12/01/1998
« Un rouge rubis clair d'une évolution moyenne. Au nez un grand Bourgogne, des dattes, des cynorrhodons. En bouche fin juteux, mais plutôt mince et accentuant sur la finesse, une finale virevolante.
Bordeaux 1959 was proclaimed the wine year of the century by overzealous journalists. Even though it was an excellent year, it simply was not the best of the century. The year started off with ideal weather conditions. Summer was perfect all the way until the autumn, when the rains came in mid-September. But the rains made way for hot, dry weather, thus setting a magnificent stage for the start of the harvest. The result was a truly ripe and juicy crop. The reds are typically full-bodied, with soft acidity and a fat mouthfeel that comes from the high alcohol content. Even though the vintage is generally compared to 1961, it has much in common with the 1949. The Sauternes vintage was equally a success and the region produced some very long-lived wines. Once again the Château Lafite-Rothschild achieved complete success, sharing the title of best wine of the vintage with the Haut-Brion. Right on their heels is the Pétrus, which should be decanted for at least three hours before drinking, and the La-Mission-Haut-Brion.