CHATEAU PALMER > 1966

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Characteristics of the vintage

One of the finest vintages of the decade.

At the beginning of June, the vines flowered quickly and evenly although after this growth was hampered by rain in June. August was fine but cool, which delayed the véraison and slowed down the ripening process. Fortunately, at the end of August the weather changed for the better and warm dry conditions during the whole of September produced ripe, healthy grapes. 1996 wines are classic and long-lived, with fresh acidity and elegant fruit.

Harvest dates: from 09/24/1966 to 10/07/1966

Blend

Merlot: 50%
Cabernet Sauvignon: 22%
Petit Verdot: 16%
Cabernet Franc: 12%

Ageing potential

2025+

Tasting

Tasting notes from Enrico Bernardo, 12/01/2011:

Limpid, garnet-red colour.
Complex, elegant, mineral bouquet. A work of art! A bouquet of pencil shavings and wet earth.
Fantastic balance on the palate. Soft, caressing, delicate, long, deep, and brilliant. Long, aristocratic aftertaste.

Tasting notes from Georges Lepré, 02/04/2009:

This wine was decanted one hour prior to tasting. Although the colour shows the wine's age, it remains deep and concentrated.

Powerful bouquet of blackberry, morello cherry, truffle, and liquorice.

Despite its age, this wine has a rich, unctuous texture with no asperity whatsoever on the palate.

The bouquet has hints of leather and tobacco.

The long, sleek aftertaste makes us forget about the wine's age.

This Palmer is at its peak, and shows no sign of declining.

Press Review

, George SAPE, 01/11/2010
« A most elegant vintage, a sweet and ripe nose with elegant and refined aromas, smoky nose, deep and complex with a cascade of aromas that are largely defined by perfumed and somewhat floral red fruit aromas, light but refined aromas define this wine; smooth and ripe in the mouth with wonderfully silky and refined flavors; this vintage produced lighter but more elegant wines than some around it; sweet fruit with a understated flavor that never recedes; smooth and silky at the finish with wafting red fruit flavors.  »

www.jancisrobinson.com, Jancis ROBINSON, 01/01/2007
« Even more obviously Margaux, possibly Palmer, than the 1970. Extremely sweet and gentle without anything in excess. Seriously seductive on the nose – even the final pour almost an hour after the first one. Quite exceptional length. This just curls itself around the palate like the most languorous cat. I remember enjoying this wine as long ago as the late 1970s. What an admirably long life it has had.
 »

www.cellartracker.com, Eric Levine, 06/01/2006
« This was one of the top 5 wines of the night in my book. It simply exploded from the glass. Sharp, spicy, and very exciting with a hint of smoke and graphite. Wow and I really mean WOW!!!
 »

Wine News, Abraham Horowitz, 04/01/2004
« Light orange hue. Shy scents of smoke and earth. High acidity, with good weight and racy flavors of cranberry and sweet tobacco. Integrated tannins with lingering flavors of brown sugar, crème brûlée and smoke in the close.  »

Vintage International Magazine, 12/01/2002
« Belle robe tuilée encore soutenue. Le nez est très opulent, il est marqué par des notes de fruits mûrs (prune, la mûre); d'épices et de réglisse. A l'aération se développent des notes de sous-bois et de tabac. L'attaque est très fine, emplit progressivement la bouche. Les tannins sont admirablement fondus et le fruit confituré et soyeux. Un vin à maturité, de grande qualité, mais qui réservera encore beaucoup de plaisir pour quelques années encore.  »

Weinwisser, 09/01/2002
« Aufhellendes, nicht besonders dunkles Granat, feiner ziegelroter Schimmer am Rand. Süsses, ausuferndes, fast molliges Bouquet, Nussaromen, Pflaumenmus, rotes Cassis, Maulbeeren, sehr burgundisch. Auch im Gaumen wie ein ganz grosser Burgunder weich, samtig und mit viel Druck. Ein ganz grosser Palmer, stark dem legendären 61er gleichend, seit vielen Jahren ein ausserordentlicher Genuss.  »

La Revue du Vin de France, 09/01/2001
« La robe brillante se montre peu profonde (reflets mordorés). Le nez de grande finesse exhale des notes classiques de sous-bois et de fourrure. De grande élégance, la bouche possède une chair fine et savoureuse, bien associée à une structure tannique très élégante, au caractère soyeux et complet. La finale s'allonge dans une expression aromatique accomplie sur le fruit compoté. Un très beau vin aujourd'hui à son apogée, mais qui ne dissimule pas son excellente forme.  »

Guide des Vins 2002 des Sommeliers, 07/01/2001
« 
Robe rouge clair aux reflets orangés. Nez ouvert, intense et complexe, marqués par des arômes de cèdre et de prune, réhaussés de notes de terre et d'épices. Attaque révélant des tanins fondus et veloutés. Bouche dominée par des saveurs de kirsch et de prune. Finale interminable sur les fruits et les épices. Un vin tout simplement inoubliable.



 »

The Wine Review of France, 06/01/2001
« The colour is bright but quite clear, with amber tinges. The nose is extremly fine, with classic hints of woodland and animal fur. The palate shows great elegance, with fine-grained texture, plenty of flavour, and underlying tannic structure giving it a noble, full and silky feeling. A very fine wine, at its best now but which still has good bottle life.  »

Fédération Culturelle Vins France, 12/01/1998
« Belle robe tuilée encore soutenue. Le nez est très opulent, il est marqué par des notes de fruits mûrs (prune, la mûre); d'épices et de réglisse. A l'aération se développent des notes de sous-bois et de tabac. L'attaque est très fine, emplit progressivement la bouche. Les tannins sont admirablement fondus et le fruit confituré et soyeux. Un vin à maturité, de grande qualité, mais qui réservera encore beaucoup de plaisir pour quelques années encore.  »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 10/01/1994
« Tasted 12 Times With Consistent Notes The 1966 continues to be one of the greatest examples of Palmer I have ever tasted. It is almost atypical for the 1966 vintage, which produced so many austere, angular wines. Not only rich and full, it is also delicate and loaded with complexity and finesse. This wine gets my nod as one of the best of the vintage, rivaled only by Latour and Lafleur. The haunting bouquet is similar to the 1961's. It reveals a plummy, mulberry-like fruitiness, exotic spices, licorice, and a hint of truffles. Medium-bodied, with a velvety richness, it has a long, ripe, lush finish, and enough grip and focus to continue to drink well for another decade.  »

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