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Characteristics of the vintage

Considering the extent to which the vines suffered throughout the spring and summer of 1978, this vintage was nothing short of a miracle. The Merlots suffered badly from a severe frost on April 16th.

Cool weather in May and June and a mediocre summer meant that vine growth was slow and difficult. Superb weather conditions in September and a glorious indian summer, which lasted through October, only saved the vintage.

Picking was late but by the time harvesting did start, the grapes had reached excellent levels of ripeness with high degrees of alcohol balanced by good acidity.

In short, 1978 had all the hallmarks of a very long-lived vintage.

Harvest dates: from 10/09/1978 to 10/19/1978


Cabernet Sauvignon: 53%
Merlot: 40%
Cabernet Franc: 5%
Petit Verdot: 2%

Ageing potential



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

Light, rather pale but clear garnet-red colour.
Concentrated, complex, subtle, and floral bouquet (fresher than the 1979). Excellent aromatic development. Hints of violet and hawthorn blossom on the nose.
Excellent on the palate: elegant and light, as well as subtly fruity and floral. Plenty of tannin. An inspiring wine!

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

Very intense colour, although plainly showing its age.

Extremely powerful, complex bouquet with camphor, menthol, pepper, cedar, leather, and gunflint overtones.

Fresh and lively on the palate with average concentration. Less "explosive" than on the nose. Although the aromatics on the bouquet carry over to the palate, they are much more toned down. Elegant tannin dominates the medium-long aftertaste.

Press Review

La Revue du Vin de France, Roberto Petronio, 03/01/2005
« Ce vin se livre plus par l'intensité de ses parfums de ses parfums que la volupté de son corps et sa chair. Il incarne la noblesse des grands vins de Margaux où la finesse est la marque d'un terroir subtil. D'un raffinement extrême.  »

La Revue du Vin de France, Pierre Casamayor, 02/01/2002
« Nez sur le fruit confit, le sous-bois et la truffe, au boisé très harmonieux. Bouche en demi corps mais le densité de saveurs donne de la profondeur au vin. Finale très ouverte, sur une grande complexité aromatique. Un millésime à redécouvrir.  »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 08/01/1993
« One of the few stars of this vintage, the 1978 Palmer offers a dark garnet color with some amber at the edge. Its bouquet of dried roasted herbs, spices, and blackcurrants offers considerable fragrance. Full-bodied, lush, and concentrated, with only a vague hint of the weediness that has become such an annoying component of this vintage, this soft, fleshy, corpulent style of Palmer is delicious now and promises to keep for another 10-12 years. Last tasted, 5/93.  »