2018 Palmer, Margaux (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1408000 100 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Beautifully rich even on the nose, this makes you smile from the first moment. On the palate things are intense and concentrated, as you might expect with an 11hl/ha yield (mildew-related). Upfront flavours major on big bitter chocolate with touches of smoke and grilled cedar, lots of savoury fruits and touches of reduction. Extremely impressive how layered and textured it is, though it really needs decades to reveal itself. There is the seductive floral edge of Palmer as it opens in the glass, but this is a muscular wine that needs time. 79% new oak. No Alter Ego in 2018. Bottled July 2020 after one year in barrel and a second year in larger Stockinger barrels for 20% of the crop to soften the oak influence. It's extremely hard for top estates to deliver consistency and innovation over decades; it really is like a sports team in that way, and this is a standout success in what was an extremely challenging year for Palmer. (JA) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

100 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2018 Palmer is a legend in the making. I had an inkling out of barrel, but such was its intensity that I wanted to assess it in bottle before I felt confident in saying so, because this could have gone either way. It storms from the glass with black fruit and floral scents, crushed violet and incense that knock your senses sideways while retaining brilliant delineation and focus. The palate is not quite as bold and brassy as when I tasted it from barrel, though I can vouchsafe that among over 20 vintages of Palmer that I have tasted at this stage, this is easily the most extroverted and powerful, displaying a kind of millefeuille of intense black fruit counterpoised by a razor-sharp line of acidity. This audacious Palmer was still revving its engines 48 hours after opening. There will never be another Palmer like this, sui generis. It was a massive risk. But by throwing caution to the wind, something extraordinary was born. (NM) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

99 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark While there's not much to go around, the 2018 Château Palmer is unquestionably a stunning bottle of wine. I certainly can't think of another Palmer coming close to this level of concentration (maybe the 2010 comes closest?). This blockbuster boasts a dense purple hue as well as a primordial bouquet of black cherries, mulberries, and blackberries intermixed with freshly crushed rocks, smoke tobacco, gravelly earth, lead pencil shavings, and burning embers. With full-bodied richness, a dense, stacked mid-palate, mouthcoating tannins, and a blockbuster of a finish, it's going to need 10-15 years to hit maturity, and as I wrote last year, will live for just about forever. 99+ Inner quote mark (3/2021)

99 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This dense wine is almost black in color. Offering tannins and luscious black fruits, it is ripe with both structure and richness. The concentration and thought-provoking intensity are impressive. *Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2021* (RV) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Complex nose of black cherries, blackberries, dark chocolate and floral undertones with perfume-like character. It’s full-bodied with firm tannins. Elegant on the palate with structure. Savory and balanced, complex and layered. Long finish. Really lingers. This has really evolved into a beautiful white swan after a difficult debut from barrel! Tiny production. only 11 hectoliters per hectare. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2018 Palmer is composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. The wine has a 3.83 pH and 14.3% alcohol. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it explodes from the glass with atomic scents of blackberry preserves, crème de cassis and blueberry pie, plus suggestions of red roses, clove oil, dark chocolate and cedar chest with hints of Chinese five spice and menthol. The full-bodied palate is decadently styled, offering layer upon layer of black fruit preserves and exotic spices, framed by exquisitely plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing wonderfully fragrant and with epic length. It's an amazingly beautiful beast of a wine—one for the hedonists! (LPB) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

98 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Remarkably concentrated, this nearly oozes fruit, with waves of cassis, plum reduction and warmed cherry preserves on full display, all carried by a dense yet polished and seamlessly embedded structure. A backdrop of violet, lilac and pastis accents add to the nearly enveloping feel, and yet with all that depth and concentration, this is a vibrant, pure expression, thanks in part to a riveting iron spine through the finish. A standout in many ways in this vintage. *Highly Recommended* (JM) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

K&L Notes

100 points Antonio Galloni in Vinous: "The 2018 Palmer is even more impressive from bottle than it was from barrel, and that is saying something. Rich, exotic and beautifully layered, Palmer is a real head-turner in 2018. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, espresso and sweet floral notes build over time, but it is the wine's stunning depth and textural voluptuousness that elevate it into the realm of the truly sublime. As I wrote in my initial review, the 2018 Palmer is a freak of nature from yields of just 11 hectoliters per hectare harvested over an entire month. Mildew was especially punishing. There is no Alter Ego, just the Grand Vin. Kudos to CEO Thomas Duroux and his team for what I can only describe as a truly magical wine." (3/2021) *biodynamic, organic*

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Price: $619.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/2/2021 | Send Email
With a quarter of the production of a normal vintage, the steadfast biodynamics of Palmer resulted in an incredible sacrifice. That said, the wine that was crafted has the potential to be a masterpiece. A truly unique wine that seemed to be a converse of the profile of many in 2018, Palmer leads with bright red fruits on the nose and follows through with deep black to blue fruits on the palate. Concentrated with great depth and a vein of acidity throughout, it is powerful but not overdone by any measure. Thomas Duroux didn't hesitate to reference some all-time vintages. Hopefully, this will rise to that level.

By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/2/2021 | Send Email
The 2018 Palmer was quite a bit different than most of the other wines we tasted, not only in Margaux but in all of Bordeaux. In the nose, the wine is on the verge of being over-ripe. In the mouth, velvety blackberry fruit coats the mouth. This wine is densely concentrated and almost thick but without being out of balance. It is fresh and focused despite its intense, layered, ripe fruit. Pretty amazing wine. 40% Merlot, 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Petit Verdot. Note: No Alter Ego was made this year.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/2/2021 | Send Email
This wine is stunning. It was made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot. It has a robust bouquet of spicy blackberries and black cherry, violets, and licorice with the essence of jam on toast. The mid-palate was replete with rich fruit, while the tannins were integrated and smooth, retaining Palmer's signature elegance and femininity in the face of all that power. The low production numbers and the high quality make this a wine to buy on futures, as it is sure to be a rare sight on retail shelves.

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