Blended of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Alter Ego de Palmer opens with beautifully expressive notes of black cherries, fresh blackberries and redcurrants plus suggestions of menthol, dark chocolate, cloves and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied with a rich mid-palate and stacks of exuberant black and red fruits, it has a velvety texture and fantastically long finish.
“We had 2009 and 2010, we’ll have 2015 and 2016,” Palmer’s CEO Thomas Duroux told me, alluding to the comparisons being made throughout Bordeaux to the last great pair of vintages. “But of course,” he added, “they are two very different expressions.” There was some mildew pressure at Palmer in 2016, which is a larger problem at organic/biodynamically managed estates such as this. Subsequently, the crop was a relatively modest 29 hectoliters per hectare, down from an average of say 35 hectoliters per hectare. “It was a milder summer, not too much heat,” Duroux further observed. “So there was not too much alcohol this year and nothing jammy.”
Vinous | Antonio Galloni
The 2016 Alter Ego is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Fresh, vibrant and pulsing with energy, the 2016 is utterly captivating from the very first taste. There is a purity to the 2016 that is simply remarkable. Floral overtones add lift to this super-expressive, sensual Margaux. Alter Ego is made from a selection of parcels that are picked earlier than those used for the Grand Vin. Lower temperatures in fermentation and gentle vinifications yield a wine that emphasizes freshness and energy. In that sense, Alter Ego is not really a second wine of the Grand Vin, but rather is more accurately described as a second, and independent, wine off the property.