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In-Stock: A Pair of Gems from a Classic Vintage: 2010 Pichon-Lalande & Palmer’s Alter Ego - 03/01/2018 - Red Bordeaux

Eight years hence and the wines from the stunning 2010 Bordeaux vintage continue to impress. Notable for their power and longevity, the 2010s are just now beginning to blossom into their true selves, having shed the awkward edges of youth and adolescence. Two in-stock finds that left us (and the critics) particularly charmed are Pichon-Lalande’s grand vin and Chateau Palmer’s second label Alter Ego. Both are exquisitely crafted and deliver everything we love about the 2010 vintage. Earning 98-plus points, Pichon-Lalande was dubbed to be a “total showstopper” by Antonio Galloni as well as “a modern-day classic.” High praise like this doesn’t come along often and is a testament to the singular greatness of this truly historic bottling. The 2010 Alter Ego, for its part, stands among our very favorite second labels and drinks far and above what its modest price would suggest. As Robert Parker notes, the work being done at Chateau Palmer is of “first-growth” quality and the Alter Ego is no exception. Considering the what the seconds of the first growths sell for, this is a downright steal. When the 2010s were first released, demand was at a feverish pitch. This interest has hardly abated and, in the case of blockbuster releases such as these, only grown. Hence, finding in stock availability is increasingly difficult and comes at a premium. This offer is a truly unique opportunity to secure to truly great wines from a historic vintage and at more than reasonable prices.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2010 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac 98 >36 $199.99 View
2010 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac 12-pack in OWC 98 3 $2,399.00 View
2010 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 93 >36 $109.99 View
2010 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 12-pack in OWC 93 2 $1,299.00 View


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2010 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac ($199.99)

98 points Vinous: "An eternal wine, the 2010 Pichon Lalande is a total showstopper. The first impression is one of explosive power, but time in the glass brings out the wines more delicate, floral side. Violet, graphite, crème de cassis, licorice and menthol overtones recall the 1996, but the tannins here are much softer, sweeter and more polished. In two recent tastings, the 2010 has been positively stellar. The alternation of hot days and cool nights led to a late harvest. The Cabernet Sauvignon harvest did not start until October 7; by that date in 2009 all the fruit was in. Readers who can still find the 2010 should not hesitate, as it is a modern-day classic. Thats all there is to it. (AG) 98+" (10/2017)

96 points Wine Enthusiast: "With signs of new wood on the palate, this is a wine that maintains the polished feel of the wines from Pichon Lalande. It has a stronger presence of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than in the past, making it more structured than its predecessors, with a dominance of black currant flavor. It shows the soft side of the vintage, but is also meant for aging. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (02/2013)

95 points Wine Spectator: "Rock-solid, with a classic Pauillac profile of cassis, iron and graphite. Layers of blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit cover the grip for now, but there's serious muscle for the longer haul, revealing a lingering pastis hint. Best from 2020 through 2040. (JM, Web Only-2014)"

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Pichon Lalande is performing extremely well and at the top of the range I predicted several years ago. A final blend dominated much more by Cabernet Sauvignon than usual (66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot), the wine is a tighter, more tannic and structured version of this famed Pauillac, which often tends to have more of a St-Julien-like personality than most Pauillacs. Structured, backward and tannic, yet showing a fat mid-palate that is more savory, broader and more expansive than I remember from barrel, this wine is somewhat reminiscent of the 1986, given the Cabernet Sauvignon domination of the blend. Full-bodied, impressively endowed, and less sexy and velvety than normal, this is a somewhat different style of Pichon Lalande than most readers have been used to. Whether you like it more or less will depend on your point of view, but this wine, unlike most Pichon Lalandes, needs a good 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for 30+ years. (RP) 95+" (02/2013)

94 points Connoisseurs Guide: "This year's Pichon Lalande is comparatively brooding and a bit backward at this point with less polish and more sinew than is shown by its companion above. It is also very deep and shows no dearth of essential fruit, even if it is still fairly taut and tight-fisted. It is a wine for the future and one that will make good on its promise, but it is built for the long haul and may take as many as ten to fifteen years before fully revealing all that now lies hidden behind its ample tannins. *Two Stars*" (04/2013)

94 points James Suckling: "This is a pretty and refined Pichon Lalande. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries with hints of earth and mushrooms. Full body, with velvety tannins and a juicy finish." (02/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "More intense on the nose than the Réserve de la Comtesse. Very supple and sweet on the top with masses and masses of well-managed tannins underneath. The limit of ripeness, Id say, but its not overripe. Needs real patience but it should be rewarded. 18.5/20 points (JR)" (09/2015)

K&L Notes: 95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. Like the Grand Puy Lacoste 2010, the Pichon Lalande has a very attractive sea-influenced bouquet with brine and estuary scents infusing the crisp black fruit that gain intensity in the glass, yet remain very focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, perfectly judged acidity, silky smooth texture and a complete, harmonious finish that is very seductive. Beautiful." (03/2014)

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2010 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac 12-pack in OWC - 3 available ($2,399.00)

98 points Vinous: "An eternal wine, the 2010 Pichon Lalande is a total showstopper. The first impression is one of explosive power, but time in the glass brings out the wines more delicate, floral side. Violet, graphite, crème de cassis, licorice and menthol overtones recall the 1996, but the tannins here are much softer, sweeter and more polished. In two recent tastings, the 2010 has been positively stellar. The alternation of hot days and cool nights led to a late harvest. The Cabernet Sauvignon harvest did not start until October 7; by that date in 2009 all the fruit was in. Readers who can still find the 2010 should not hesitate, as it is a modern-day classic. Thats all there is to it. (AG) 98+" (10/2017)

96 points Wine Enthusiast: "With signs of new wood on the palate, this is a wine that maintains the polished feel of the wines from Pichon Lalande. It has a stronger presence of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than in the past, making it more structured than its predecessors, with a dominance of black currant flavor. It shows the soft side of the vintage, but is also meant for aging. *Cellar Selection* (RV)" (02/2013)

95 points Wine Spectator: "Rock-solid, with a classic Pauillac profile of cassis, iron and graphite. Layers of blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit cover the grip for now, but there's serious muscle for the longer haul, revealing a lingering pastis hint. Best from 2020 through 2040. (JM, Web Only-2014)"

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Pichon Lalande is performing extremely well and at the top of the range I predicted several years ago. A final blend dominated much more by Cabernet Sauvignon than usual (66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot), the wine is a tighter, more tannic and structured version of this famed Pauillac, which often tends to have more of a St-Julien-like personality than most Pauillacs. Structured, backward and tannic, yet showing a fat mid-palate that is more savory, broader and more expansive than I remember from barrel, this wine is somewhat reminiscent of the 1986, given the Cabernet Sauvignon domination of the blend. Full-bodied, impressively endowed, and less sexy and velvety than normal, this is a somewhat different style of Pichon Lalande than most readers have been used to. Whether you like it more or less will depend on your point of view, but this wine, unlike most Pichon Lalandes, needs a good 5-7 years of cellaring and should keep for 30+ years. (RP) 95+" (02/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "More intense on the nose than the Réserve de la Comtesse. Very supple and sweet on the top with masses and masses of well-managed tannins underneath. The limit of ripeness, Id say, but its not overripe. Needs real patience but it should be rewarded. 18.5/20 points (JR)" (09/2015)

K&L Notes: PLEASE NOTE: This product is 12 bottles in its Original Wooden Case (OWC), sold only as a 12-bottle case to protect ideal provenance. If the wines must be shipped, they will be sent in pulp shippers to protect the bottles, with the wood case shipped separately. Will call or local delivery orders can be handled as intact OWCs. Please detail any special handling requests at checkout online, or call us with specific instructions. 95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. Like the Grand Puy Lacoste 2010, the Pichon Lalande has a very attractive sea-influenced bouquet with brine and estuary scents infusing the crisp black fruit that gain intensity in the glass, yet remain very focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, perfectly judged acidity, silky smooth texture and a complete, harmonious finish that is very seductive. Beautiful." (03/2014)

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2010 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux ($109.99)

93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of orange peel, walnuts and berries follow through to a full body, with a luscious tannins and fruit structure. Long and delicious. The second wine of Palmer. Try in 2017." (02/2013)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The second wine of Château Palmer is a rich, floral, smooth and perfumed wine. It has layers of dark plums and almost sweet acidity, with tannins that are buried in the voluptuous palate. The finish shows intense black currant acidity. (RV)" (05/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a tarry frame melded to a core of plum sauce, tobacco and dark currant preserves. Fleshy and broad, with a good charcoal spine for freshness. Approachable now, but should improve with cellaring. Best from 2014 through 2025. (JM)" (03/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An equal-part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Alter Ego represents 50% of the crop at Palmer. It has been an interesting second wine to take note of ever since the first vintage in 1998. The 2010 displays loads of chocolaty espresso notes, with plenty of punch, glycerin and unctuosity as well as some tannin like its bigger sister, but it is clearly meant to be drinkable at a much earlier age. It will still require several years of cellaring and should last 12-15 years. Theres no question that Thomas Duroux and the staff at Palmer are producing wines of first-growth quality, and have been for nearly a decade. (RP)" (02/2013)

K&L Notes: 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot.

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2010 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 12-pack in OWC - 2 available ($1,299.00)

93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of orange peel, walnuts and berries follow through to a full body, with a luscious tannins and fruit structure. Long and delicious. The second wine of Palmer. Try in 2017." (02/2013)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "The second wine of Château Palmer is a rich, floral, smooth and perfumed wine. It has layers of dark plums and almost sweet acidity, with tannins that are buried in the voluptuous palate. The finish shows intense black currant acidity." (05/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Offers a tarry frame melded to a core of plum sauce, tobacco and dark currant preserves. Fleshy and broad, with a good charcoal spine for freshness. Approachable now, but should improve with cellaring. Best from 2014 through 2025." (03/2013)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An equal-part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Alter Ego represents 50% of the crop at Palmer. It has been an interesting second wine to take note of ever since the first vintage in 1998. The 2010 displays loads of chocolaty espresso notes, with plenty of punch, glycerin and unctuosity as well as some tannin like its bigger sister, but it is clearly meant to be drinkable at a much earlier age. It will still require several years of cellaring and should last 12-15 years. Theres no question that Thomas Duroux and the staff at Palmer are producing wines of first-growth quality, and have been for nearly a decade." (02/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "49% Merlot, 51% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very dark purplish crimson. Markedly aromatic. Very lifted with a strong undertow. Racy and vibrant, just a little green note there and even orange peel. Great tension and even a little sucking-stone character. Much more structure than usual for Alter Ego. Certainly doesnt taste hot. Alter Ego is still theoretically made specifically to be drunk young but 2010 presented a challenge to this philosophy! 'In a vintage like 2010, you cannot go against it,' Thomas Duroux. This tastes like a very smart wine off its own bat. A most unusual Alter Ego. pH 3.55."

K&L Notes: 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot. PLEASE NOTE: This product is 12 bottles in its Original Wooden Case (OWC), sold only as a 12-bottle case to protect ideal provenance. If the wines must be shipped, they will be sent in styrofoam to protect the bottles, with the wood case shipped separately. Will call or local delivery orders can be handled as intact OWCs. Please detail any special handling requests at checkout online, or call us with specific instructions.