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95-97pts Wine Advocate
The late-ripening, low-yielding vintage has delivered a beautifully balanced wine of striking intensity in the 2021 Palmer. Unwinding in the glass with complex aromas of blackberries, exotic spices, licorice, violets and burning embers, it's full-bodied, layered and enveloping, with a deep, concentrated core of fruit, ripe tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, expansive finish. If recent vintages of Palmer have set new records in their power and richness, the 2021 marks a return to the classical proportions of the 1990s—with all the additional concentration and precision that Thomas Douroux's pioneering viticulture and thoughtful winemaking have brought to the equation at this address in the interim. The grand vin is a blend of 56% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, picked between September 24 and October 15. Tasted twice.
The 2021 Palmer is one of the truly epic wines of the year. It's not the 2018, but it is in that vein, albeit at 13% in alcohol. There's tremendous richness and sheer extract here. Blackberry jam, chocolate, smoke, licorice, lavender and mocha notes possess remarkable primary intensity, more like a young must than a wine with a few months of age. Readers will find a Palmer that offers a compelling mix of opulence and energy.
96-97pts James Suckling
There’s brightness and clarity to this young wine, with blackcurrants, violets, lavender and blackberries. Medium body with a sold core of fruit and a long, fresh finish. Fine tannins. Bright acidity. 56% merlot, 3% petit verdot and 41% cabernet sauvignon. From biodynamically grown grapes.
95-97pts Wine Enthusiast
The wine is dense with warm tannins supporting black fruit tones and acidity. Juicy and spicy, the wine's Cabernet Sauvignon shows so well with black currant flavors. It is fresh and it obviously it will age well.
93-95pts Jeb Dunnuck
The Grand Vin 2021 Château Palmer checks in as 56% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot. The élevage here is unique in that the wine spends the first year in barrel (60% new) before having one-third moved into foudre for the following 6 months. The 2021 is an unquestionable success, revealing a dense purple hue as well as a powerful bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits supported by notes of tobacco, graphite, and chocolate. This medium to full-bodied Margaux has ripe, velvety tannins, a great mid-palate, and outstanding length. It's going to have plenty of up-front appeal yet still evolve for two decades.
Perfumed chocolate cherries with bramble tones on the nose. This has a rich and round mouthfeel, clear structure on show but also with life and lift - a sweet, bright cherry element given definition by strict but fine tannins. You have a really beautiful, delicate opening, quite wide and airy then the depth arrives on the mid palate, with chalky tannins and red fruits coming into play before the spiced liquorice enters on the finish. The texture is striking, velvet-like with layers and a sublime verticality of freshness and minty aeration. It may be less glamourous and overtly plush and seductive than bigger previous vintages but I love the classicism on show - a focus, precision and sophistication. Superb winemaking from Thomas Duroux who successfully navigated the difficult vintage conditions in 2021.