Local wine wholesaler and importer Great Domaines is to represent Bordeaux Third Growth Chateau Palmer in South Africa and yesterday the property’s export director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Christopher Myers introduced the winery to a gathering of trade and media.
Owned jointly by negociants Mãhler-Besse and Sichel, the property is 57ha in size and produces 9 000 cases of first label and a further 7 000 cases of its second label called Alter Ego. Two points of interest is that 1) 2014 was the first vintage the property was 100% biodynamic (or “organic-plus-plus” as Myers put it) and 2) the winemaking team was working hard to get sulphur levels down in line with the natural wine movement increasingly taking hold across the world.
Tasting notes and scores for wines tasted:
Alter Ego 2008
Approximate retail price in SA: R1 462.50
52% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon. Red and black berries and some cigar box. Quite modern in being fruit driven with soft tannins but not short of freshness.
Chateau Palmer 2007
Approximate retail price in SA: R3 893.50
49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. Black fruit, toasty oak and some unbecoming dank and weedy notes. Better on the palate which appears rich and full. Concentrated fruit, fresh acidity and firm tannins – seems quite heavily worked. Plenty of Stellenbosch wines like this that don’t cost nearly as much!
Chateau Palmer 2004
Approximate retail price: R4 153.50
Red and black fruit, violets and a touch of spice. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Intensely flavoured but not weighty. Plenty of finesse here. Long and properly dry on the finish. This is what makes Bordeaux great.