Characteristics of the vintage
An exceptionally good year, which produced well-structured wines with firm tannins and good acidity.
After early flowering and damp conditions in spring, the vine cycle slowed down during the relatively hot, dry summer.
At vintage time, growers who resisted the temptation to pick too early harvested healthy, fully ripe grapes.
Harvest dates: from 09/30/1988 to 10/12/1988Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon: 51%
Cabernet Franc: 8%
Petit Verdot: 2%Ageing potential
Tasting notes from Enrico Bernardo
Clear ruby-red colour with garnet-red highlights.
Very musky with hints of rosemary, china bark, paprika, Espelette pepper, and leather.
Pleasant, fresh, tannic, elegant, fairly long, and somewhat original flavour.
Tasting notes from Georges Lepré
A deep ruby color with hints of purple.
There is a complexity to this rich and intense bouquet. We find aromas of blackcurrants, black cherries, mild spices, violets, lilies, bay leaves, fresh mint, cedar, smoke and musk.
The attack shows an opulent fruit, a tight framework of velvety tannins and a remarkable freshness. It's dense, expressive and smooth, with a long, delicious finish.
Having reached harmony and serenity, this vintage can be easily held until 2020.Press Review
The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 02/01/2005
« Comme nombre de crus de ce millésime, le 1988 a bien évolué et atteint son apogée. Il est dense, quelque peu rugueux, mais généreusement marqué d'arômes très prononcés de fruits noirs et de terre nuancés de réglisse, de compost, de camphre et d'herbes rôties. Moyennement corsé, il est marqué en finale de tannins épais dont je ne sais s'ils se fondront totalement. Quoi qu'il en soit, l'ensemble se distingue par sa belle profondeur et son ampleur. »
Quarterly Review of Wine, M. Boyle, 02/01/2002
« " The 1988 was also an exceptional vintage; again, the wine was unbelievably young (yet when we tasted it four years ago, our notes said that it would be ready in four to five years; we were surely wrong). It's big, opulent, expressive, rich and elegant. It was a child, broodingly moody and muted, withholding its complexity, but giving us glimpses of its future growth. »
The Vine, Clive Coates, 01/01/2002
« Very fine colour for the vintage. Full and vigorous. Fragrant nose. Very Palmer. Fresh. Good pure fruit. Complex. But medium-full body rather than very full. Medium-full body. Just about ready. More slightly raw than with unresolved tannins. Good acidity. very fresh, classy fruit. Not the depth and concentration of the 1989 but fine plus for the vintage. It will last well. »
Private Dinner, David Dyroff, 01/01/2001
« Mrs. V and I shared the 1988 Chateau Palmer, Margaux, on a recent "romantic dinner" occasion. It was a little reticent, but quite nice. Classic Bordeaux in the elegant vein. Tannins fully resolved and no hard edges.
As with the best wines, it paired nicely with a variety of dishes on the tasting menu we enjoyed. The nose could have been a bit more expressive, and it seemed to come and go just a bit. If you're looking for a fruit bomb, look elsewhere. If you want food-friendly cab that will put a smile on your face without challenging your vocabulary to come up with descriptors, this is a good candidate. »
The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 08/01/1993
« The 1988 offers a promising bouquet of ripe plums, dense, rich, concentrated fruit, and medium body, but I was surprised by the relatively compact finish. Nevertheless, this is one of the best wines of the Margaux appellation in 1988. »