• Country ranking ?

    1 139
  • Producer ranking ?

  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Duck Breast & Lentil and Parsnip Salad

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The Story

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.

Kindling desire
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. 


Wine Information

Characteristics of the vintage

This extraordinary vintage was characterised by several periods of very hot weather, with temperatures reaching 40°C and higher in June, July, and August. Such long-lasting, extremely hot weather broke records going back 150 years. Although the overall level of rainfall was low, and this dryness accentuated the effects of the heat, 2003 will be remembered above all for its tropical summer temperatures.

This resulted in a low yield of small grapes with thick skins.

The 2003 harvest was the earliest in 60 years, with the exception of 1989. The harvest started with Merlot grapes on 8th September, followed by Cabernet on the 16th, and finished with Petit Verdot on the 20th.

Fermentation was conducted with the greatest of care because of the high degree of ripeness and sugar levels in the Merlot grapes.

Relatively short maceration (17 days) made it possible to retain the wines' freshness and balance. They were full of charm, with good body and very ripe fruit from the very beginning.

Despite the heat wave, the 2003 wines of Château Palmer reflect their prestigious terroir and will undoubtedly reveal the exceptional quality of this vintage over time.

Harvest dates: from 09/08/2003 to 09/20/2003


Cabernet Sauvignon: 68%
Merlot: 20%
Petit Verdot: 12%

Ageing potential



Tasting notes from Enrico Bernardo, 12/01/2011:

Ruby-red colour with garnet-red highlights indicating that the wine is starting to show its age.
Candied fruit such as plums on the nose, as well as cherries in brandy and black pepper.
Oak well-integrated with the wine's Mediterranean character.
Round, generous, and not very tannic on the palate, with little acidity.
Resolved, pleasant, and perhaps just past its peak

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 04/01/2004
« Ce Palmer 2003, moyennement corsé, affiche un style évolué ainsi qu'une couleur rubis-pourpre profond, des arômes complexes et sexy. Même s'il lui manque encore la grande profondeur que ce domaine avait atteint avec ses trois derniers millésimes, il devrait être delicieux à boire dès sa mise en vente et bien vieillir pendant 15 ans ou plus. Cet assembage de 68% de Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% de Merlot et 12% de Petit Verdot, fabriqué à partir de rendement bas de 25 hectolitres à l'hectare, est un vin d'une finesse, d'un fruité et d'une élégance incontestables. Bien qu'il ne possède pas le poids et la puissance des meilleurs millésimes de Palmer, si son milieu de palais s'étoffe, il deviendra un vin remarquable. »

The World of Fine WIne, Michael Schuster, 04/01/2004
« Fine, sweet, scented nose, classy and persistent; medium-full, fairly concentrated, fresh acidity and firm tanin; quite dense and masculine for Palmer (68% Cabernet Sauvignon this year). Ripe rather than super-ripe, with long, close-grained, compact, complex red- and black-fruit flavours, excellent length. Very good, very pure, in a slightly severe mould. »

Ultimate Wine, Marco Correia, 04/01/2004
« Sumptuously profound offering, with gobs of fresh fruit, layers of vanilla, prunes and spicy-tobacco scents. 12% Petit Verdot, 20% Merlot and 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, were blended to make this viscous almost creamy wine. The superb quality of the fruit harvested, donates harmonious balance, velvety texture and supreme elegance. Chateau Palmer, with privileged terroir and wise wine-making, produced (no doubt in my mind or taste) one of the best two wines of this appellation. Rewarding experience. »

Vinifera, Jacques Perrin, 04/01/2004
« Dans ce millésime, Palmer représente 55% d'une récolte au rendement très faible (25hl/ha). Si le petit verdot a un peu déçu à Château Margaux, il s'est en revanche surpassé à Palmer puisque l'assemblage du 2003 intègre le pourcentage de petit verdot le plus élevé depuis 1970.
Robe pourpre d'une belle intensité. Le nez évoque la rose, le cassis, la prune avec une nuance délicate de santal. Attaque magnifique par la précision et la fraîcheur de son fruit.
Evolution continue d'une trame très fine. Impression de fluidité dans la structure : on sent que l'extraction a été très légère. Très belle finale, longue, complexe, aux saveurs de Havane, de fruits légèrement poivrés. »


Tasting note


Long, Extensive and Pure




Average in Acidity, Warming, Balanced, Concentrated, Well-Integrated, Vigor, Perfumed, Powerful, Dry and Silky tannins


Exotic and Well made

Written Notes

So much milk chocolate and dark fruits on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy, almost dusty tannins. Some might call it a little coarse on the palate. It needs some more time, but turns to loads of milk chocolate on the finish. Pull the cork in 2013.

  • 91p

Deep red. It had really splendid nose of aromatic Mirabelle plums in the beginning and was fresh all over. Later, both nose and palate took on blackcurrants/blackcurrants drops. This was quite concentrated and powerful wine on the palate, showing splendid intensity of fruit, refinement and fine length, although not quite typical for the property. It finished with long and strong aftertaste. 12-18 years horizontally in the cellar.

  • 92p
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Margaux, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality


Value For Money


Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory


Drinking temperature



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