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Palmer 2008

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Margaux
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

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Tasting Notes

A stunning success for the vintage, and possibly the Margaux of the year, this wine, which achieved 13.5% natural alcohol, is a blend of 51% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. Loads of barbecue smoke, licorice, incense, blackberry, new saddle leather and forest floor notes jump from the glass of this dense, purple-colored wine. Extraordinarily intense and full-bodied, with plenty of tannin, but not the formidable structure of the 2010, this is going to be one of the longest-lived wines of 2008. It is full, rich, layered, and should be reasonably approachable with 3-4 years of bottle age, and will also keep for 30+ years. Drink 2014-2044.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

Shows blackberry and black cherry, with hints of currant. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a solid core. Long and fruity

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2009

Young and dense in its fruit character, with black cherry and bilberry fruits, baked earth, black truffles and saffron spice. The tannins are velvety and muscular, the finish spicy and long, and this remains a concentrated wine with plenty of life ahead of it. A late ripening year, where Autumn really saved what had been a pretty difficult August and early September. Harvest October 1 to 17, 60% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, December 2021

Dark and glowing. Quite grown up and sophisticated. Draws you in on the nose - much more compelling than most 2008s. Sweet start - 51% Merlot! - very unusually high for 2008 and for Palmer. The opposite of Ch Margaux. Actually quite Ornellaia like, very soft and rich. Very seductive and lively. With velvety texture. Neat and energetic. Cool, even slightly minty. Really lots of pleasure. Even if quite unusual. The Palmer team love it - not least because it was so difficult. Italian bite. (Not that this will be a popular tasting note in Margaux.) Quite electric. 13.4%.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2009
Read more tasting notes...

The 2008 Palmer, which tips the scales at 13.5% natural alcohol (among the highest achieved at this property), is a blend of 51% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Petit Verdot. It is a massively rich wine with an inky/purple color, sensational density of fruit, velvety tannins, a glorious bouquet of black fruits, licorice, incense, and subtle barbecue smoke, a superb, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a fabulous texture and length. With several minutes of swirling, an enticing floral note emerges. The wine's glycerin and sweetness suggest it will be approachable 3-4 years after bottling, yet keep for three decades or more. It appears to be among the finest Palmers made this decade, rivaling both the 2005 and 2000.Yields at Palmer were a shockingly low 30 hectoliters per hectare, and the harvest lasted from October 1 to October 17. Keep in mind, the natural alcohol percentage in the Merlots harvested at Chateau Palmer was a low of 13.5% and reached a lofty peak of 14.5%. All the Cabernet Sauvignons came in between 12%-12.5%. Moreover, the level of tannins and dry extract/polyphenols was the same as in 2005, which provides one more piece of evidence in what is a very successful vintage for Bordeaux.

Robert Parker, RobertParker.com, April 2009

Tasted ex-chateau and single blind in Southwold. Two bottles of Chateau Palmer were opened. It has a very sophisticated, but slightly broody bouquet with blackberry cassis, graphite and a little more earthiness than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine delineation, tightly knit with superb focus and sense of harmony. Crisp, sinewy and multi-faceted, this is a great Palmer for the vintage and a serious contender for the best wine of the appellation. Bravo. Tasted January 2012.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2012

Very deep colour. Like the Alter Ego, the nose takes some coaxing from the glass, it is not as generous as the 2006 or 2007, rather this unfurls gracefully in the glass. Black cherries, violets with boysenberry and a touch of iodine. A slight clayey accent coming through. The palate is full-bodied, it has that same sense of energy, a real prickle on the tongue, very fresh and taut - tension. Firm tannins, again quite strict on the finish. Correct but supremely well focused. A certain austerity at the finish, but that will mellow out in time. Impressive (again). Tasted April 2009.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2009
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.