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Characteristics of the vintage

After cold, damp weather in the first 5 months of the year, June was warm and dry so that flowering took place in excellent conditions. A heatwave in July was followed by warm, damp weather in August that unfortunately encouraged the spread of diseases. Thankfully, September was dry and hot, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. After a string of hot, sunny days at the end of the month and into early October, sugar levels were similar if not superior to those in 1982.Thanks to Palmer's exceptional terroir, 1983 produced concentrated wines with ripe tannins that have retained all their richness and vigour.

Harvest dates: from 09/28/1983 to 10/13/1983


Cabernet Sauvignon: 53%
Merlot: 41%
Cabernet Franc: 4%
Petit Verdot: 2%


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

Limpid, garnet-red colour.
Complex, but still reticent. Good potential. Hints of mushrooms, red fruit jam, raspberry, sweet spices, rose petals, and gentle on the nose.
Round, mature, smooth, and intense with excellent tannin. Long aftertaste with a gentle retro-nasal effect. An aristocratic wine.

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

The wine's garnet color is still quite intense, showing only faint reddish-brown hints.

After being in contact with the air, the bouquet shows a large aromatic palate. Notes of mild spices, mocha, musk and cedar wood, quickly follow the imposing aromas of blackberries, blueberries, and prunes.

An opulent fruit and an impeccable freshness, which highlight the wine's mellow aspect, compliment the very mature tannin structure. It all comes together magnificently and shows real personality before finishing with notes of licorice and violets.

The balance and irresistible charm of this vintage lets one imagine that it should keep until 2020…at the very least.

Press Review

The Wine Cellar Insider, Jeff LEVE, 06/13/2010
« This still looks young! Cassis, dark berries, flowers, coffee and five spice aromas put the spring in the aromatics step. Full bodied and packed with layers of silky, elegant, ripe fruit. The tannins are ripe and round. The long finish fills your mouth with purity, intensity of flavor, velvet laced textures, freshness and balance. This stunning Bordeaux wine ends with a long, ripe, plush, fresh blackberry filled finish. This special wine keeps getting better every time I taste it. Still young, this will age and improve for decades. », Eric Levine, 06/01/2006
« This was my wine of the flight. A sexy, kinky and spicy nose. Wowza, there is a little bretty funk here as well, but it is quickly overtaken by some sharper notes of flint/gunpowder. Wow, the balance on this wine is impeccable, and the 1983 Margaux looks dry and tannic in comparison. This is drinking very young and very beautifully.

Carnets de dégustation, 09/01/2005
« Provenance Chateau
Premier nez: une touche de poivron vert ralenti l'extase. Impression d'une vinification déjà ancienne. A perdu l'éclat de sa jeunesse. Notes de cèdre et de fruits très mûrs. Agitation : Note végétale.
Bouche: par dessus la sensation veloutée se glisse une note pas très mûre qui gène la fête en finale. Curieusement, j'avais toujours trouvé ce vin velouté, mais l'absence de maturité ultime fait chuter la note. »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 02/01/2005
« Ce vin, qui continue de s'améliorer, peut prétendre au titre de réussite du millésime. Il a même dernièrement surpassé son jumeau de Château Margaux lors de dégustation à l'aveugle. D'un prune-pourpre opaque, l'ensemble dégage des senteurs incroyablement complexes de canard fumé, de fleurs blanches, de cèdre, d'épices orientales, de crème de cassis, de réglisse et de café. Tout à la fois corsé, concentré et puissant, il s'exprime avec ampleur, s'imposant comme l'un des Palmer les plus impressionnants,les plus concentrés et les plus puissants des quarante dernières années. L'ensemble a résorbé ses tannins rugueux, très présents dans les 10 à 15 ans suivants le millésime. Il s'exprime aussi d'avantage de rondeur et gagne en séduction au fur et à mesure de son évolution. Il s'agit incontestablement du Palmer le plus extraordinaire après le 1961.  »

Wine News, Abraham Horowitz, 04/01/2004
« Concentrated orange-brown hue. Enticing scents of leather, cranberry, orange rind and plum. Suprisingly full tannins and flavors of cranberry and dried cherry. Hints of smoke and oak in the lingering close.  »

Prestige, Jen Shek Voon, 02/01/2004
« The colour is still deep red with a slight tinge browining away. The expressive nose is full of ripe red fruits and spices. On the palate, the wine is fleshy and hints of the silky tannins to come. Although the 1983 has the complexity and structure, and is drinking better now than the 1982, my guess is that it also has the legs to last.  »

Rogov's Ramblings, Daniel Rogov, 10/01/2002
« This may not have been the most exciting of vintage years for Bordeaux but those wines that stood above, stood tall indeed. My fourth tasting of this now fully drinkable wine shows enviable levels of spices, licorice and tobacco all on a background of plums and black currants. Full bodied, powerful in structure, beautifully balanced and concentrated, the wine is drinking beautifully now but promises to cellar well until 2020 – 2025.  »

Thuries Magazine, Guy Carriere, 09/01/2002
« 1983 reste pour moi un souvenir émouvant. J'ai servi ce vin à maintes reprises. Il semble presque immortel tant il incarne sans faiblir la finesse, la longueur et la complexité du seignuer Palmer. Son bouquet est époustouflant et sa généreuse texture déverse des flots de crème de fruits, de chêne, d'épices. Ce fut l'une des plus grandes réussites sur l'appellation Margaux.  »

La Revue du Vin de France, Pierre Casamayor, 02/01/2002
« Un nez d'une folle complexité, aux notes de bois précieux, d'épices orientales de fruit compoté, de tabac blond. Bouche satinée, belle concentration. Finale allongée, racée, avec une belle fraîcheur. Un classique de Palmer.  »

The Vine, Clive Coates, 01/01/2002
« Fullish colour. Less evolved than the 1982. Fuller, firmer and less evolved on the nose than the 1982. Fresh but not exactly voluptuous. Medium-full body on the palate. Clean and classy. Lovely fruit. Fully ready. Slightly less concentrated than the 1985 and the 1982. But beautifully balanced. Very long and very impressive. More positive at the end than the 1982 if not as seductive. very fine.  »

Tasting by the Wine Society, Tom Cannavan, 07/01/1999
« Pale ruby, turning to ochre in the broad rim. Sweetly perfumed. Seductive with its fragrant nose of berry fruits, cedar, pencil-shavings, leather and a soft, exotic spiciness. Very supple palate with a finely-tuned concentration of fruit and spice flavours. Nice long finish again, showing concentration, depth and alance. Fully mature, for drinking over 5 - 8 years.
Very good indeed. »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 10/01/1994
« Tasted 14 Times Since Bottling With Consistent Notes.
One of the superb wines of the vintage, the 1983 Palmer continues to display a saturated purple/garnet color, and an intense perfume of jammy black fruits, smoked meats, flowers, cedar, and Asian spices. Super-concentrated, powerful, and full-bodied, this huge, unctuously textured wine is approaching its plateau of maturity. Because of the high Merlot content it can easily be drunk now, yet promises to last for another 20-25 years. I remain convinced that the 1983 will be the finest Palmer since the great 1961.  », Neal Martin, 11/30/-0001
« This legendary Palmer has a deep garnet core with a mahogany rim. The bouquet has an attractive sweetness with hints of dark chocolate, coca, leather, raspberry coulis and hot bricks, with its savouriness coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied, very harmonious and elegant, excellent definition with such freshness and vitality. It retains that sense of “conservatism” that I have always felt with cigar box and autumn leave mixed with a touch of mulberry towards the poised finish. This is a great Palmer. Drink now-2020. »