2012 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux

SKU #1212111 94 points James Suckling

 This is amazing for the second wine with incredible white truffle, stone and currant character. Purity of fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, silky and refined. Fantastic length. Better in 2018 but almost impossible to resist now. Incredible.  (2/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another brilliant example from administrator Thomas Duroux and his team, the intense second wine, Palmer’s 2012 Alter Ego (51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot), offers up plenty of blackberry and crème de cassis notes along with some spring flowers, licorice and subtle background oak. Opulently textured, full-bodied and stunning, this is an outrageously successful second wine to drink over the next 12-15 years. (RP)  (4/2015)

92 points Decanter

 Even though it was only introduced by Château Palmer in 1998, the distinctive reverse black-and-gold label is surely one of the best known in Bordeaux. But the real success of Alter Ego has come in its consistently excellent quality. It’s hard to go wrong with the vintages, although prices are steep, with recent years coming in at above £550 for a case of 12 (in bond) at most UK merchants. The 2012 is a wonderful example of why this wine is so good. It has all the lush exoticism and fine tannic structure of Palmer, but with a softness and crème de cassis, dense fruitiness (it is 52% Merlot) that makes it drinkable now and for the next 10 to 15 years. (JA)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2012 Palmer Alter Ego is a smoking good Margaux that over delivers. Made from 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot, its still ruby/purple color is followed by a ripe, sexy, medium to full-bodied 2012 that gives up tons of blackcurrants, licorice, crushed flowers, and graphite. With incredible charm as well as a broad, sexy texture, drink it over the coming 10-15 years.  (2/2018)

92 points Vinous

 The 2012 Alter Ego is unusually dark in this vintage, the result of abnormally low yields and very ripe Merlot. An exuberant, voluptuous wine, the 2012 hits the palate with a mélange of black cherry, plum, smoke, licorice, tobacco and grilled herbs. There is more than enough tannin and acidity to support a good decade-plus of very fine drinking. This is a superb second wine that should be on consumers' radar screens, as it over delivers, big time. The 2012s at Palmer are made from unusually low yields of around 28 hectoliters per hectare. One of the effects of the 2011 hailstorm that hit the estate was a lowering of the following year's crop, which has resulted in rich, tannic wines. Estate Manager Thomas Duroux opted to give the 2012s more time in barrel than is customary and the wines were bottled in September 2014. (AG)  (1/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Initially densely tannic, this wine quickly reveals a more velvet character that is enhanced by the blackberry fruits. Over half the production at Palmer in 2012 was of this second wine, which is already finely integrated and developing well. Drink from 2020. (RV)  (5/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Shows good energy, with a lively savory note, a bright iron streak and enticing damson plum, black cherry and red currant fruit. Everything knits through the finish, suggesting this should be able to handle modest cellaring. Best from 2016 through 2020. (JM)  (3/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Quite strong leafy Cabernet aromas, but lovely freshness and round tannins. Is this like Palmer of old? I don't think I would guess this was majority Merlot...Drink 2019-2027. 17/20 points.  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

* 1/2 The second wine of Palmer is once again a terrific wine. Flashy ripe Merlot is in the forefront of this wine and is fresh and deep. Much softer than the first wine and will be lovely to drink young. I love the wine and like the price. (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux Expert) 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot. 35% new oak.

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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2016 | Send Email
Complex and very elegant, showing very appealing notes of truffles, as well with dark cherries, cassis. In my notes I actually wrote "perfumed". The tannins are velvety soft, which make a pleasure tho enjoy it now.

Staff Image By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
One of our favorites from 2012 vintage Bordeaux. Plenty of cassis and red fruit flavors. Decant one hour or cellar for a few years.
Drink from 2016 to 2026

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:


- Margaux is the southern most of all of the appellations of the Haut Medoc. Located near St. Julien, it has more cru classe producers than the other four villages of the area. In addition to the legendary Chateau Margaux, there are five second-growths: Rauzan Gassies, Rauzan Seglas, Dufort-Vivens, Lascombes, and Brane Cantenac. While more people are probably familiar with the third growth Chateau Palmer, there are nine other wineries with the same ranking in addition to a trio of fourth growths and a pair of fifth growths. Because Margaux is comprised of five communes… Margaux, Cantenac, Soussans, Labardes and Arsac, the wines styles are diverse throughout the region with the more masculine tannic wines coming from the Cantenac side of the appellation. Because of a high percentage of Merlot planted in the region, many wines from Margaux are more round, feminine, and exotic that the other appellations of the Haut Medoc.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.4