Alter Ego > 2001

A velvety impression
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Characteristics of the vintage

The growth cycle got off to a good start in March after an especially mild (2-3°C warmer than average) and wet (it rained two days out of three from October to March.) winter. Fortunately, the fairly cool weather in April eliminated the risk of mildew. Thanks to mild, very dry weather, flowering took place quickly and evenly in May and June, mid-flowering on June 2nd. After a cool and particularly rainy month of July, the véraison occured without any problems before a major storm hit on August 15th (peak véraison took place on August 9th). The month of August was hot, but not excessively so. It was once again cool in September (2°C less than average). The grapes were ideally ripe and healthy on the eve of the harvest. Sugar levels were high – greater than 2000 and similar to 1999. Even though the summer of 2001 was not tremendously dry – which led to a lower concentration of phenolic compounds than the previous year – levels were very good, higher than in 1999. The Merlot grapes were picked at 13-14° potential alcohol, producing fruity, rich, and generous wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes came in at 11.5-12.2°, and wine made from them has enormous finesse and very pure tannins. This blending of the 3 varietals has created a rich and subtle vintage, an almost perfect expression of the Palmer style.

Harvest dates: from 09/29/2001 to 10/11/2001


Merlot: 67%
Cabernet Sauvignon: 33%

Ageing potential

2015. To drink now.


Brilliant and luminous, with an intense ruby color.
The bouquet first gives us aromas of red fruits (raspberries and cherries) followed by woody notes, fresh mint, musk and, after aeration, notes of face powder and violets.

From the outset, there is a delicious fruitiness, a smooth and round framework of tannins, supported by a delightful freshness. We find ourselves before an extremely elegant wine, well constructed, imposing a direct and upright presence. Its tenacity, well controlled, confirms the balance of the components and a refined quality texture. The wine leaves us enjoying voluptuous notes of fresh blackberries.

This fruity richness of this 2001 will be at its best (after having been decanted) before 2015.

Press Review, Michael Apstein, 03/01/2006
« Despite the dominance of Merlot, the 2001 remains slightly hard and not yet ready to drink. But the balance is there, and the haunting aroma and lingering finish suggests it will continue to evolve nicely over the next several years. »

ChinaDaily, Maggie Beale, 05/01/2005
« the 2001 vintage is subtle, smooth and balanced. The sensual bouquet gives hints of those wonderful candied fruits the French make for celebrations.  »

The Vine, Clive Coates, 04/01/2004
« Medium-full colour. The tannins are quite round but a little dry at the end on the nose. Ripe, almost sweet. Medium body. A slight hardness at the end. Quite good.  »

Carnets de dégustation, Jean-Marc Quarin, 05/01/2003
« Le 2001 a tenu ses promesses depuis les primeurs l'an dernier. Sa coloration est normale, son nez fruité. La bouche caressante, ronde et affriolante offre un plaisir inénarrable. Finale séveuse et finement boisée. Ne pas hésiter à le goûter jeune.  »

La Revue du Vin de France, 05/01/2002
« Encore une fois, il justifie parfaitement son nom, car c'est un vin très proche de Palmer par sa finesse de texture, sa rondeur charmeuse et la race de son fruit: un second vin qui vaut beaucoup de premiers ...  »

Vinifera, Jacques Perrin, 05/01/2002
« Cette année, l'Alter Ego représente 36 % de la récolte et l'assemblage est identique au 2000. Le nez offre une bonne intensité sur des nuances de fruits mûrs et d'épices douces.
Bouche assez souple, délicatement satinée dans sa texture et qui révèle une chair gourmande aux notes de violette.
Finale d'une longueur moyenne.

Weinwisser, René Gabriel, 05/01/2002
« Mittleres, leuchtendes Rubin mit lila Reflexen. Erdiges Bouquet, Tabak, unreife Pfaumen, tintige Aromen. Im Gaumen Zwetschgenschalen, Teernoten, viel Terroir, wenig primäre Frucht, recht gehaltvoller Körper.  »

Wine Magazine, 05/01/2002
« "Generous, raspberry fruit with a touch of oak on the nose. There's a hint of grassiness to the palate, but enough silky, raspberry fruit balance and length to make this very enjoyable." CM »

Carnets de dégustation, Jean-Marc Quarin, 03/01/2002
« Régulièrement bon depuis sa jeune existence. Du goût.  »

Gault & Millau, Bernard Burtschy, 03/01/2002
« Les arômes de cassis et de cerise sont très purs et la bouche, souple et gourmande, révèle un fruit superbe. La finale de fraise et de framboise est soyeuse, ce qui en fait un vin de friand tout en fruit avec de beaux tannins fins.  »

Vins & Vignobles, D. Cobbold, 03/01/2002
« Le nez est attrayant avec des arômes fins. En bouche, le vin possède un très bon fruit, tendre et vivace. Il est lisse et souple, parfait pour un second vin qui doit être bu assez jeune. »

Decanter, 12/01/2001
« Lots of cassis fruit, oak showing, a lovely smooth wine with succulent fruit. very attractive drinking in the short term.  »

Carnets de dégustation, Bettane & Desseauve, 03/01/2001
« Alter Ego représente 36% de la récolte du Château Palmer, le grand vin constituant la moitié d'icelle. Encore une fois (et comme toujours depuis la création de ce vin), il justifie parfaitement son nom, car c'est un vin très proche de Palmer par sa finesse de texture, sa rondeur charmeuse et la race de son fruit: un second vin qui vaut beaucoup de premiers...  »