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Characteristics of the vintage

Damp conditions in spring meant that flowering was late and extended.

There was, however, little coulure (absence of flower set) and 1979 was ultimately a record-breaking year in terms of volume.

Although the summer months were generally fine and dry, there were some rainy periods and temperatures were below average. Harvesting was late but conditions remained good throughout.

Where growers had made an effort to control yields, maturity was good; the berries were small and healthy with firm tannins and good acidity levels.

Harvest dates: from 10/03/1979 to 10/16/1979


Cabernet Sauvignon: 58%
Merlot: 36%
Petit Verdot: 4%
Cabernet Franc: 2%

Ageing potential



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

Garnet-red colour with some bricking.
Expansive, very elegant, complex, and mineral bouquet - almost Burgundian. Balsamic, rose petal, cherry jam and black pepper aromas.
Very elegant, refined, and intense on the palate, accompanied by a light structure. Somewhat chalky finish reminiscent. Very charming.

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

The wine is a beautifully deep ruby color.

The colour is that of an old wine, but remains quite deep.

The nose is fairly concentrated after swirling in the glass. Floral at the beginning, it goes on to reveal hints of cedar, smoke, and tobacco.

1979 Palmer starts out very full and rich on the palate with fruit in brandy flavours.

Soft, rich, medium-long aftertaste.

Press Review, Alun Griffiths, 11/11/2012
« 1979 was not renowned as a great year but there are, in any years, chateaux which excel themselves and deliver a wine way above expectations. Such a wine is Palmer 1979. The vital months of July and August proved wet and cool but fine weather in September and October saved the day and the grapes harvested were healthy, ripe and abundant. The best wines, and only the best will have survived this long, are plump, round and succulent, and Palmer has, in addition, that touch of floral aromatics and elegance on the palate for which it is renowned.
(Alun Griffiths MW, BBR Wine Director) »

, George SAPE, 01/11/2010
« This wine was a real surprise for me, as I was unfamiliar with this vintage; really good nose, sweet and perfumed, quite floral and aromatic with herbs and minerals on the one hand and the traditional darker aromas of tar and earth on the other, chocolate, sweet spices, and a soft acidity round out a complete and full nose; drier in the mouth than Palmer often produces, but the focus in this wine is on red fruits rather than black; there is a nice balance in this wine, and it is full if a little simple at the finish.  »