The 2016 Palmer has a generous, slightly lactic bouquet of opulent red fruit infused with touches of dark chocolate, although it calms down and gains more grace with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and well-judged acidity. Very harmonious, revealing cedar and mint toward the extraordinarily persistent finish. This is another classy, persistent Margaux with a long future ahead. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. 2026 - 2070
|Score: 98||Neal Martin, vinous.com, August 2020|
The 2016 Palmer was bottled in summer 2018 and matured in 60% new oak. This year it has the same proportion of grape varieties as planted in the vineyard. The gorgeous, extremely pure and floral bouquet features intense black cherries, humidor, crème de cassis and crushed violet. It is quintessential Palmer in every way. The palate is medium-bodied with fine structure and density, matched by perfectly judged acidity. Black fruit infused with pencil lead and hints of black olive gives way to a more cassis-like note toward the finish, which displays superb structure. This is a great Palmer, one from Thomas Duroux’s top drawer. 13.5% alcohol. Drink 2026-2070.
|Score: 97||Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019|
The 2016 Palmer is a blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 29 hectoliters per hectare between 3 and 18 October. Matured in 65% new oak (my sample coming from a used barrel), the bouquet is perhaps not quite as intense as some of its peers and takes time to click into fifth gear. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, briary and mineral scents; it is very focused, but maybe less extrovert and more classic in style compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, quite firm in the mouth with slightly tarry black fruit, hints of black truffle developing towards the finish that feels masculine and linear. It has very impressive length, completing what is an intellectual Palmer, one that I suspect will really blossom in bottle. Drink 2024-2055.
|Score: 95/97||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
The 2016 Palmer is a blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Opaque garnet-purple colored, it slowly glides out of the glass with compelling notes of blueberry compote, warm cassis and kirsch with emerging hints of violets, cigar box, black tea, sandalwood and Sichuan pepper. Medium to full-bodied, wonderfully rich, concentrated and packed with latent energy, the palate literally grows in the mouth, revealing layer upon layer of black, blue and red fruits and tons of floral sparks, framed by super ripe, incredibly fine-grained tannins and finishing with epic length. It’s a wine that makes you wanna drape yourself languidly over a chaise lounge, glass of Palmer in hand, sighing with deep satisfaction, “This is so wonderfully Palmer.” Drink 2024-2060.
|Score: 98+||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim En), November 2018|
Such attractive fruit and alluring ripeness that it draws you in from the get-go. The discreet power here is delivered with a very astute touch. Assorted dark-berry aromas, as well as red plums, abound on the nose. The richness and depth in the mouth is stunning. The tannins are super polished and layered and they draw pristine dark fruit flavors deep into the finish in effortless mode. This is a star of the vintage. A blend of 47 per cent merlot, 47 per cent cabernet sauvignon and six per cent petit verdot. Try from 2024.
|Score: 98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (227), February 2019|
I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. It’s equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.
|Score: 99/100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
Technical Director Thomas Duroux and his team made one of the most brilliant wines of the 2016 vintage. Palmer is simply exceptional. Rich and dramatically sweeping in the glass, the 2016 is breathtaking. All the elements simply fall into place in a wine of mesmerizing beauty. The counterpoint of dark, sumptuous fruit and floral notes makes for an utterly compelling Palmer that will take its place among the estate's finest vintages. Dark cherry, lavender, spice and mocha are some of the many notes that build into a deep, substantial finish that is truly unforgettable. In a word: magnificent! Drink 2026-2066.
|Score: 100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2019|
Sophisticated and polished from the outset, the 2016 Palmer is utterly captivating. Dark shades of fruit, accented by hints of smoke, leather and discreet French oak open up in the glass, but it is the wine'e effortless, gracious personality that stands out most. The 2016 literally hovers on the palate with exquisite grace. I can't wait to see how it ages.
|Score: 95/98||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
47% Merlot. Biodynamic.
Tasted blind. Dark crimson. Slightly sweaty nose. Then thick and sweet and utterly charming and super-attractive texture. Fresh finish and the tannins are virtually subsumed in this glorious fruit. Kerpow! Great length. Heady, rich, very dramatic and lively. Complete. A contentious wine because of the concentration? 13.2%
Drink 2026 – 2048
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020|
Very dark, velvety look - really bright. Complex and energetic. Not simple and sweet but quite a step change. Feels a little transitional because it's so different and more energetic than the old style. 65% new oak, as always, but the wine can absorb it better. Some bitter chocolate. Lots of sweetness. Energy and freshness.
|Score: 17.5+||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
Traditionally the finest wine of the Médoc after the 1st growths, Palmer slipped a bit in the 1980's but has returned to top form recently, rejoining the super-second mini-league alongside Lascases, Cos d'Estournel, Ducru, Pichon Lalande, etc. The talented wine-maker is Thomas Duroux who always produces a pure, smooth and elegant wine with (for the Médoc) a high proportion of Merlot in the blend. Since 2014 the vineyard has been certified biodynamic. Much of the crop is used for the second label - Alter Ego. The yield is just 29hl/ha this year, with 47% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. Coconut, black cherry, dried flowers and vanilla on an explosive, seductive nose. The palate is rich and intense, with velvet tannic structure enveloping cool, ripe cherry and cassis fruit. Supreme balance and elegance, with great power and length. Moccha and kirsch on the finish bring a smooth, pure and focused length to the wine. Really sophisticated, precise winemaking.
|Score: 18.5||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The finest vintage I’ve ever tasted from this estate, surpassing the 2009 and 2010, the 2016 Château Palmer is a blend of 47% each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Petit Verdot, all of which was brought up in 65% new French oak. This magical effort reveals a saturated purple color as well as a huge nose of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, and spring flowers, and it develops beautifully with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, incredibly concentrated and powerful, it nevertheless just glides over the palate with flawless purity and balance, present, ripe tannins, and a finish that just won’t quit. This is Bordeaux at its most regal and classic. It will be drinkable with just 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for half a century. Drink 2023-2073.
|Score: 100||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2019|
Bright and fresh the nose has bramble and bilberry the start of the palate light but there is mid depth concentrated fruit the tannins discreet integrated. Sweet and ripe at the back the finish is full of rich black fruits. 2025-42
|Score: 94/96||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Tighter and much more compact at this young age than the 2015 was at the same stage, this is a serious, focused, age worthy Palmer with dense cassis and damson fruit, stylish oak, refined tannins and pithy acidity. “Intellectual,” says Thomas Duroux. 2024-35
|Score: 96||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
The grand vin represents 65% of production in 2016, the highest ever. It has many similarities in style with the 2001 and 1986, being a classically styled wine full of soft slate, fern, liquorice and cassis, but from the modern era where you can achieve so much more precision. This is a wine that makes you smile from the first sip, and keeps on getting better, caressing you gently across the palate. There is never any let up through the mid-palate, and the biodynamics that have been practised here for the past few years are clearly paying off. Elegant, utterly silky and precise, the structure is just effortless with reasonably fresh alcohols that are the result of late ripening. A perfect example of the appellation, it has the florality, density and slow tannic pace that means it takes you right along with it as the flavours build. The blend is 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. Intellectual without being overbearing, and built to age. This is impressive stuff.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
|Score: 98||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|
Powerful tannins and hugely rich fruit balance together in this superb wine. The velvet texture belies the power behind the concentrated, ripe black-fruit flavor, with vibrant acidity giving ample lift. The wine's structure will ensure aging for many years. Drink from 2024.
|Score: 100||Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, January 2019|