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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 vintage / The cool, humid weather in early spring brought a rather late budburst and fairly slow vine growth. A hailstorm on 11 May hit the Palmer vineyard without affecting the harvest's qualitative potential.
With extremely mild, dry and sunny weather in June, flowering took place quickly and spread evenly. The bright, sunny summer that followed enhanced the qualitative potential. It was a summer of no extremes: no destructive storms and no heat waves, just some moderate, sporadic rainfall. Under such favorable conditions, plant growth rapidly stopped and the véraison spread swiftly and well, like the flowering!
Depending on the plots, the water supply became more and more limited. This made the vines suffer, developed berry concentration and made the potential quality of the fruit looks more and more promising.
September and October did nothing to dampen our hopes since the weather condition were ideal for the ripening of the grapes and the harvest!
By early September, the technical maturity had been reached (potential degree in alcohol of 13.5° to 14°), but the skins were still thick and the tannins needed time to soften. A long spell of fine weather gave us the time to taste the grapes every day and patiently monitor their development until they had the right velvety, silky texture.
Harvesting began 23 September for the earliest ripening Merlots. The grapes arriving in the vat room were magnificent: perfectly ripe, healthy, juicy and concentrated. Merlot harvesting continued without haste until 4 October. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested between 2 and 14 October, and our Petit Verdots on 8 and 9 October.
The yield, at 34 hL/ha, was very close to that of the 2005 vintage. Although this very fine vintage gave us the leisure to harvest calmly, it caused our oenologists some anxiety!
The grapes arrived in the winery at slightly higher temperatures than usual. The crops had to be cooled to make sure that the fermentation temperatures were well controlled. The extraordinary richness of the musts demanded constant monitoring by batch in order to precision-manage the extractions. These efforts were both encouraged and rewarded by the very high quality of the daily tastings: we were stunned by the freshness, density and finesse of the batches. This is a terroir vintage, in which each plot fully expresses its singularity and contributes thereby to blendings of very great complexity.
Harvest dates: from 09/23/2009 to 10/14/2009
http://www.jancisrobinson.com, Jancis Robinson, 01/31/2013
« Blackish purple. Putty and interesting on the nose. Very sweet indeed. Not enough refreshment. Coconut-oil notes really put me (but not the other members of the group) off. Raw finish. Thick, dense, complex and sweet and clearly very well made, but just not appetising enough for me. »
Wine Journal erobertparker.com, Robert Parker, 02/29/2012
« One of the all-time great Palmers (along with the 1961, 1966, 1970, 1989, 2000 and 2005), the 2009 Palmer is a blend of 52% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and a whopping 7% Petit Verdot that came in at close to 14% natural alcohol. An opaque blue/black color suggests a wine with thrilling levels of concentration and intensity, and that-s exactly what a taster gets. Subtle smoke, incense and Asian spice (soy?) notes interwoven with graphite, blueberry, blackberry and cassis characteristics lead to a full-bodied, phenomenally concentrated, viscous, opulent wine with plenty of sweet tannin. This sensational Palmer reveals even more floral notes than vintages such as 2005 and 2000. It should drink well for 50 years. »
http://www.jamessuckling.com, James Suckling, 02/14/2012
« This has such class and power. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries, with hints of violets. Full-bodied, with polished tannins and a juicy finish. Solid and extremely pretty. Fabulous finish. Try in 2020. »
, James SUCKLING, 09/20/2010
« Just finished at Palmer. 2009 is amazing and defines the future for this top estate. Nothing shy in Palmer anymore. Love it. 98+ »
Chronique n°100, Jean-Marc QUARIN, 07/15/2010
« Regoûté quatre fois depuis les primeurs, sa note est en hausse. Grand nez fin et subtil dans lequel j’ai même trouvé des odeurs très heureuses de fruits blancs (poire rôtie). Bouche superbe où le moelleux de la trame suscite un fort hédonisme. Pour autant le vin offre une construction classique tramée, puissante, mais toujours pleine du sens de la mesure. Superbe finale au grain fin. Il deviendra un modèle. »
Telecran, Claude FRANCOIS, 07/03/2010
« Réglisse, nez très très doux; du fruit très concentré, un vin massif, arômes de mûres et fruits noirs, chocolat, floral. 50 % de merlot composent ce vin à la texture soyeuse, seulement deux tiers de bois neuf lui confèrent (ou plutôt)conservent sa belle fraîcheur. »
Right up there with 1947, 1961, and 2005, 2009 is a year of almost exaggeratedly (for Bordeaux) flamboyant, opulent wines with elevated ripeness and low acidity. The tannins are unusually ripe, while the wines are quite voluptuous in style. The Left Bank recorded more sunlight hours than legendary vintages such as 1947 and 1982, and grapes had higher sugar concentrations than 2003 and 2005. The key was significant diurnal temperature swings that allowed grapes to handle the hot daytime temperatures. An exceptional vintage across the board.