Château Palmer is a Third Growth Bordeaux with a First Growth profile. Robert M. Parker Jr. has noted that “Palmer can be as profound as any of the first growths… (and in some vintages) Palmer can be better than many of them.” The estate takes its name from Charles Palmer, an English military officer who bought the property in 1814 and spent the rest of his life improving it and buying additional vineyards. The estate was later purchased by French entrepreneurs and today is owned by a consortium of families in the negociant business. The estate includes 128 acres of vineyards planted to 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. About 130,000 bottles are produced each year. Besides its wine, the estate is known for its exquisite château with neo-gothic turrets worthy of a fairy tale castle. It was built in 1856 by Charles Burguet, one of the period’s most renowned architects. Since 2004 the estate has also produced Palmer Historical XIXth Century Wine, a blend of grapes from Palmer’s Margaux estate and Syrah grapes from the Rhone Valley. By law his Vin de Table cannot list a vintage but the batch number on each bottle notes the vintage year. Only 4000 bottles are made annually.
Margaux is one of Bordeaux’s most famous appellations and also one of its largest, with about 3,400 acres of vineyards. Located on the Left Bank of the Gironde River, Margaux has the greatest number of classified-growth châteaux (or crus classé) according to the 1855 classification. There are twenty-one crus classé, including the most famous estate, the first growth Château Margaux. The Margaux appellation includes vineyards around the village of Margaux and the villages of Arsac, Cantenac, d’Issan, Labarde and Soussans. Wines from the best Margaux châteaux and vintages are prized for their perfumey fragrance and elegant, silky mouthfeel. Margaux wines are predominately Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.