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Characteristics of the vintage

This was an early vintage, remembered for its historic drought.

From May to the beginning of September the weather was hot and reached heatwave proportions in July and August. Consequently, the critical periods of flowering and véraison, when the grapes turn colour, were early, even and complete. Although the berries ripened well, it was clear that yields would be low.

Heavy rain in September swelled the grapes, which were by now ripe and low in acidity.

Picking took place in perfect conditions and after vinification the wines expressed the deep colour, ripe tannins and rich fruit that were the result of this truly exceptional summer.

Overall, however, the quality of the '76 vintage did vary according to yields, the condition of the berries at the time of picking and the degree of selection.

Harvest dates: from 09/15/1976 to 09/29/1976


Merlot: 49%
Cabernet Sauvignon: 34%
Cabernet Franc: 9%
Petit Verdot: 8%

Ageing potential

2015+. To drink now.


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

Clear colour with some bricking.
Elegant, classic bouquet with notes of candied orange peel, ceps, black fruit jam, black truffle, game birds, and roasted beans.
Generous, rich, and still tannic in structure. Long and complex with a brilliant aftertaste.

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

Medium-deep in colour with brick-red highlights.

Concentrated, fresh, exotic aromas reminiscent of the warm hot summer in 1976.

A few camphor and peppery overtones appear after swirling in the glass.

Starts out very soft and generous on the palate, underpinned by ripe tannin.

Although the aftertaste is not very long, it has a lovely coffee bean finish.

Press Review

Rogov's Ramblings, Daniel Rogov, 10/01/2002
« This traditional Palmer blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (in this case 49%, 34%, 9% and 8% respectively), maintains its deep brick-red color and continues to show deep, complex and elegant aromas and flavors of black fruit, mocha, tobacco and spices. Full bodied, concentrated and now with exquisite integration between fruits, tannins and wood, the wine continues to drink beautifully both in standard and magnum bottles.
In standard bottles drink now – 2006; in magnum bottles the wine should continue to cellar well until 2010 – 2015.  »

Quarterly Review of Wine, M. Boyle, 02/01/2002
« "The 1976 is generally a three-star wine, nothing splendid, but good. However the 1976 Palmer was terrific, still holding its color, still showing off its cedar, spices, and velvety expressiveness. It was a 26-year-old wine that was still intriguing in the glass, crisp and spicy and slightly sweet."  »

, Michael Broadbent, 10/01/1986
« Robe jamais très profonde, quoique généreusement colorée. Nez original à 4 ans : curieuse combinaison de fruit et d'odeur de chai. Vif et épicé. S'épanouit dans le verre et s'améliore également en bouche. Dominante moelleuse, pas beaucoup de corps, souple, de l'acidité, mais peu de tannins. Délicieux. »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 10/01/1984
« Délicieusement souple, fruité et charnu, le 1976 est moelleux et velouté, peu tannique, mais suffisamment fruité. Il a maintenant dépassé sa pleine maturité. Il n'a ni la fragilité, ni le caractère un peu dilué de bien des vins de ce millésime.  »