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Palmer 2005

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Margaux
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
Also available in the following mixed case:

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Tasting Notes

Its bigger sister, the 2005 Château Palmer (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot), is one of the great efforts of this superlative vintage. Floral notes mixed with blackberry, cassis, plum, licorice and spring flowers soar from the glass of this dense ruby/purple wine. It is medium to full-bodied, surprisingly opulent (it has a big percentage of Merlot), long, multi-dimensional and textured. This wonderfully pure, stunning wine once again performs as a first-growth. It should drink well for the next 20-25 years. Drink 2015-2040.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015

Enticing ruby red body, with aromatics that show a touch of orange zest and turmeric spice. The fruit is creamy, intense, a brilliant Palmer that has finesse and balance but a serious kick. Black pepper, cinammon, raspberry, bilberry fruits, smoked earth and campfire on the finish, so juicy, totally salivating with a slate-textured close of play. Delicious, and a great sign that the 2005 vintage is starting to swing open. Harvest September 22 to October 7, 60% new oak. A long dry summer, with 57% less rainfall than usual, although temperatures never climbed as high as in 2003. Impossible to stop smiling after this.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, December 2021

The 2005 Palmer is made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-brick in color, it is very shut down on the nose to begin, slowly revealing a powerhouse of creme de cassis, plum preserves, and licorice scents with hints of candied violets and unsmoked cigars. Big, rich, full-bodied, and opulent in the mouth, it has seductively velvety tannins and fantastic length. Still very young, it is approachable at this stage, but expect great things to come with a further 5-10 years of patience. Drink it to 2050+. Palmer is located in the Cantenac sector of Margaux. Most of the plots are situated on the plateau, with the best located around the Chateau. It is worth noting that these prime blocks were not part of the estate in 1855, which is probably why it was ranked a third growth instead of a second (or first). From 1945, a large percentage of Merlot was planted at the estate and it continues to have one of the highest percentages of this grape planted at a Medoc property, currently accounting for around 47% of the vineyard area. In 2004, Thomas Duroux took over from the long-serving Jean Bouteiller as winemaker. He started experimenting with biodynamic viticulture in 2008 and Palmer went fully biodynamic in 2014.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (69), July 2022

The Château Palmer 2005 is blessed with a very intense bouquet (as usual!) with black cherries, wild strawberry, dried herbs and a strong peppermint scent that comes as some surprise, but is in sync with the rest of the aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very poised in the mouth with blackberry, cedar and graphite notes. This is a backward Margaux but you cannot deny the precision and persistence on the finish. Fabulous. Drink 2018 - 2050

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2015
James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, February 2008

Tasted blind. Blackish crimson. Very light spearmint on the nose. Intriguing. Lots of flavour here. Thick and ambitious and zesty with a hint of orange peel and real density.
Drink 2016-2034

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2017

Good deep red-ruby. Deep, brooding aromas of blackberry, kirsch and chocolate mint, with a distinctly roasted, jammy character showing today. Compellingly sweet and explosive on the palate, with great fat to the flavors of plum, mulberry, coffee and mocha; like a cocktail of jammy fruits. This is downright massive, not to say decadent, for Palmer-at 14% alcohol the highest ever recorded here. A pure liquid confection.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, June 2008

Hugely rich, tobacco leaves and cassis on nose, wonderful clarity of flavour, silky texture with powerful fruit and firm tannins. Drink 2012-50

Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2006

Rich, sumptuous, smells fully ripe, good purity. Packed with flavour. Good balance, ripe tannins, very generous fruit. Drink from 2016. Awarded 3 stars.

Decanter.com, Decanter.com, July 2008

Came 31st out of 184 wines

-, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2009
Read more tasting notes...

This spectacular offering should continue to improve, and may merit an even higher score after additional aging. Stunningly rich and powerful, the dark purple-tinged 2005 Palmer is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot. Aromas of incense, burning embers, black currants, plums, licorice, and flowers are followed by a full-bodied Margaux with more weight and power even than its nearby first-growth rival, Chateau Margaux. The abundant acidity and tannins are beautifully coated by the wine’s exceptional fruit extract and overall harmony and richness. It is so concentrated that one is hard pressed to find even a hint of new oak. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2045+

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008

Produced from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot (only 50% of the total crop was used), the 2005 Palmer boasts an amazing 14% natural alcohol. New administrator Thomas Duroux (formerly of Ornellaia in Tuscany) has fashioned a true classic. Creme de cassis, camphor, earth, licorice, and spicy oak characteristics emerge from this sensationally rich, full-bodied Margaux. With terrific texture, awesome intensity, high but sweet tannin, and refreshing, well-integrated acidity, this wine will be at its finest between 2015-2050+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

A classic vin de garde as well as a Palmer for the ages, the 2005 will last for 40-50 years. Representing 50% of the production, it is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful bouquet of flowers, cassis, spice box, forest floor, and subtle wood. Boasting extraordinary intensity, a huge entry on the palate, full body, high tannin, and good underlying acidity, this is a massive as well as exquisitely elegant, pure effort. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

Opulent and flamboyant are the two words that come to mind with this wine. Aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate and toasted oak follow through to a full-bodied palate, with big, chewy tannins (yet they are refined and silky) and a long, long finish. This is a full-throttle Palmer. Superripe and delicious.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006

Interesting that this advertises so much more alcohol than most of the left-bank wines. Bright crimson. Tightly knit, aromatic nose. Spicy and medicinal with lots of sweetness and seduction. Really playing the extreme card - to good effect. But this is a big wine, muscular even. Not classic Margaux by any means; a much bigger beast. Going for the jugular. 14%
Drink 2023-2045

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2015

Very dark crimson. Lighter, more obviously fragrant nose than most. Sweet and malty on the palate. Lots of acidity - not very integrated. Dry finish. Looks a little less opulent and complete than the others.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2009

Very dark crimson. Lift and perfume. Very supple start, with sweetness and quite obvious Cabernet Sauvignon rigour (53 per cent) plus seven per cent Petit Verdot. A bit severe with sandy tannins on the finish. Just a little hole on the mid palate at the moment. Well crafted but I wouldn't have minded just a little more acidity. 14 per cent - without chaptalisation of course - a record for Palmer. Beautiful texture and winemaking; I'm just looking for a little more flavour at this point. Drink 2016-30

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2006
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.