Peter Maude Fine Wines

2012, Château Palmer, MARGAUX, 3ème Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot. 

The 2012 Palmer has a more backward bouquet than the 2008 Alter Ego, quite Pauillac-like in style with graphite infused black fruit. Commendable freshness and focus, though not powerful in style. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, fine acidity, silky smooth with a clean and precise finish; white pepper and tobacco linger on the aftertaste. Curiously, a second bottle at the Bordeaux Index tasting displayed a slight greenness on the aftertaste that prompts me to be cautious with my score. Perhaps that will assimilate with time? Tasted twice at Bordeaux Index's Ten Year-On tasting and blind at the Southwold Ten-Year On tasting. 92 Neal Martin, Vinous (2022).

The 2012 Palmer is silky, voluptuous and beautifully layered in the glass. Black cherry, plum, mocha, bittersweet chocolate and dark spices flesh out in a decidedly opulent, racy Palmer built on pure texture. Silky, tannins round out the polished, suave finish. The 2012s at Palmer are made from unusually low yields of around 28 hectolitres 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. 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2015).

Deep inky-purple. Enticing perfume of blackberry, spices and violet. Then rich, dense and suave on the palate, offering fleshy flavours of crushed blackberry, dark plum, liquorice, mocha and black pepper. This sweet, generous, fine-grained wine is perked up by insidious peppery acidity. The finish is long and scented, with a suggestion of slightly unripe tannins at the back. Still, this is a successful Palmer in the context of the vintage. 91 Ian D'Agata, Vinous (2013).

The 2012 Palmer is already offering demonstrative drinking at age 10, bursting with aromas of cherries, blackberries, violets and spices, framed by a lavish application of creamy new oak. Full-bodied, ample and enveloping, it's fleshy and sensual, with a deep and layered core of fruit that's discreetly underpinned by succulent acids and sweet, powdery tannins. Concentrated, broad and persistent, this is one of the most successful wines of the vintage, as well as one of the most dramatic. Thomas Duroux is crafting more integrated, less overtly oaky wines at Palmer today, but this 2012 is nonetheless a terrific effort. 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate (2022).

Château Palmer is one of the vintage’s superstars. Opaque purple, with a gorgeous nose of blueberry, blackberry fruit, liquorice, incense and graphite, the wine has a multi-dimensional, skyscraper-like richness, stunningly well-integrated acidity, tannin, wood, and alcohol, a finish of close to 45 seconds and a full-bodied mouthfeel. This is a great wine from Margaux in 2012 and one of the vintage’s most remarkable efforts. Anticipated maturity: 2022-2040+. The final blend was 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. 96 Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (2015).

Magnificent black-red, wonderful concentration with velvety density of texture, superbly rich yet elegant, exotic yet constrained, great wine. 95 Steven Spurrier, Decanter.

Real charm here with well defined aromas of blackberry, vanilla and violets. Duroux has managed to coax some plump ripeness from this cool-ish classical vintage and there’s a beguilingly sweet cassis and blackberry pastille character alongside some cream and leather. The acidity is spot on and the framing tannins are refined and grainy. Not a long keeper, but this has plenty of promise and pleasure ahead. 92 John Stimpfig, Decanter.

Rich, generous, plummy fruit, with concentrated flavour and considerable tannin that makes its development an unknown quantity. Will all the elements marry? Keep for five years and hope. 95 Sebastian Payne MW, Decanter.

Drinking Window: 2022 - 2042

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