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Characteristics of the vintage

2006 was a generally hot and dry year, marked by brutal fluctuations in the weather.

Budbreak was in late March. Flowering took place as usual at the end of May and the first ten days of June with nice, cool weather: a homogeneous flowering with no noticeable signs of coulure.

Heat wave temperatures (35°C) were common during the second half of June and the month of July. This hot and dry weather was luckily peppered with short thunderstorms. In these conditions, veraison was early, and was practically finished by the end of the month of July. August was marked by a sudden reversal of the situation. The cool and rainy weather considerably slowed the ripening process, prompting a substantial amount of work in the vineyard (green harvest and leaf thinning). If the level of rain in August was not generally superior to that of the last thirty years, it still presented an important risk of mildew that required constant vigilance. The end of August and the first ten days of September saw a return of the heat wave, with temperatures reaching 35°C, thus accelerating the previously sluggish ripening process, while making the grape skins more fragile. The rainy period that followed, luckily accompanied by cool temperatures, demanded our utmost attention in order to harvest each parcel at the right moment.

Despite the inconsistencies, the weather conditions were actually favorable for the quality of grapes grown on great terroir. June and July allowed the grapes to stock a potential for quality that was revealed as they ripened in September. The rich and powerful tannins don't overshadow the elegance of our wines, nor their delicate aspect and depth.

Harvest dates: from 09/19/2006 to 10/02/2006


Cabernet Sauvignon: 56%
Merlot: 44%

Ageing potential



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

Clear, luminous ruby-red colour with deep purple highlights.
Elegant bouquet reminiscent of vanilla, mint, wild roses, and roots.
Magnificent balance on the palate. Straightforward, as well as beautifully round and fresh, with a sensual mouth feel.

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

Nicely intense purple color.

Vigorous nose of red fruits and blackberries, wood, mint, stone fruits, tobacco, moss and violet.

Still very young, the palate indicates lovely fruits, tight palpable tannins, heaps of freshness and solid length.

The wine displays a slight lack of suppleness that ageing will tame in the coming years. The material is there for this classic vintage Palmer to become the epitome of elegance itself.

Press Review

Fine Wine Magazine, Michael Schuster, 01/06/2011
« Sweet, early bouquet of cassis and cedar; very nicely balanced, gently fleshy, classy wine, with a very fine, dry tannin; long; easy; graceful, and fleshy core within the firmly tannic frame; ripe, fresh, spicily complex and with a long aromatic finish. Complete but with an austerity suggesting it needs another 8-10 years in bottle at least. 2018-2030+ »

Fine Wine Magazine, Thierry Desseauve, 01/06/2011
« Brilliant and classy texture, red-fruit aromas, soft and aristocratic texture and body, fresh and long. Palmer has made even better since this vintage, but it is undoubtedly the best Margaux of this tasting. »

TELECRAN, Claude FRANCOIS, 10/01/2009
« Nez enveloppant, girofle, la grande finesse, mûre, myrtille,
cuir et cèdre, grande minéralité, vin serein, harmonieux
et affichant une grande finesse. Bois noble, tout
est en phase. Un grand Palmer. », Jancis Robinson, 09/14/2009
« Very deep crimson and cassis colour. More red fruit and a Cab Franc-like nose even though there is no CF in there. Raspberry and pencil lead and even a little minty and cinammon spice. And cedar and herbs. Some orange? Pure cassis and dark plums as it opens up. Very inviting bright fruit with toasty oak still evident. Melted chocolate tannins. Utterly seductive even in youth. Soft even though the tannins and acidity give sufficient framework for the fruit. Ready early? Even with all the rich fruit there's freshnes on the finish. Quite powerful but a real smooth talker. Seductive is the word. Lovely fantail across the palate. Long sweet finish yet fresh. Softer tannins than the 04.
Drink 2011-28 »

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Stephen TANZER, 05/15/2009
« Deep red-ruby. Aromas of blackberry, licorice, minerals, flowers and peat, with some chocolatey oak emerging with air. Juicy and silky on the palate, with lovely clarity and inner-mouth perfume to its flavors of black fruits, minerals and iris.
Finishes long and firmly structured, with intriguing soil tones and lovely floral lift. Classic medium-bodied claret. »

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Stephen TANZER, 05/15/2009
« Deep red-ruby. Aromas of blackberry, licorice, minerals, flowers and peat, with some chocolatey oak emerging with air. Juicy and silky on the palate, with lovely clarity and inner-mouth perfume to its flavors of black fruits, minerals and iris. Finishes long and firmly structured, with intriguing soil tones and lovely floral lift. Classic medium-bodied claret. »

Wine Spectator, James Suckling, 03/31/2009
« Coffee, plum and spices on the nose follow through to a full body, with lovely fruit and a soft, silky-textured finish. Very balanced and beautiful, with lots of violet, new wood and richness. Long. Needs time. Best after 2015 »

International Wine Cellar, Stephen Tanzer, 04/01/2008
« Good full red. Subtly perfumed aromas of plum, milk chocolate, cedar, menthol and smoke. Sweet, supple and deep, with a pungent minerality to the flavors of mulberry, currant and chocolate. Very suave and harmonious wine, offering a lovely combination of volume and energy. Duroux ultimately included 47% merlot in the blend, and this must be some of the best merlot of the Medoc in 2006. Finishes very long and perfumed, with terrific vinosity. (At a much lower price point, the estate's second wine, Alter Ego, is also unusually elegant and juicy in 2006.)  »

Periodic Review of Bordeaux Wine, Alan Duran, 01/01/2008
« Château Palmer has produced a fabulous, complex wine that can possibly rival the great 2005, 2004, and 2000. It offers lead pencil, raspberry, and cassis intertwined with sweet vanilla bean aromas, followed by a huge, backwardly broad, medium-bodied, vibrant offering of full-flavor and gorgeous, mouth seraing appeal. This well endowed, youthful, opaque ruby-purple colored 2006 possesses amazing potential. It will require patience! »

Carnets de Dégustation, Jean-Marc Quarin, 04/01/2007
« Couleur intense. Nez très fruité, mûr, frais, légèrement animal. Bouche étonnante, fondante, moelleuse et pourtant dense. Un petit éclat aromatique m'a manqué au milieu pour que ma note soit plus élevée. Pourtant, la structure est remarquablement construite, savoureuse et s'achève sur des tanins fins, longs et aromatiques.
Comme souvent, les vinifications ont été faites à pas de velours : température de fermentation basse pour les merlots, quelques saignées, puis des extractions douces. La propriété fait un très gros effort de sélection. Palmer ne représente que 40% et Alter Ego 45% ; 15% ont été écartés de ces deux vins.  »

Decanter, Steven Spurrier, 04/01/2007
« Intense velvety colour, dense and rich, quite fleshy due to the very ripe Merlots, but Cabernets bring true Margaux breed and a wonderfully silky expression of fruit with power behind it. », Neal Martin, 04/01/2007
« Tasted at the chateau. So, Palmer made a better wine than the invincible Chateau Margaux in 2006? Looks like it, for no other reason that Palmer is blessed with superior terroir suited towards that grape varietal. Simple as that. A deep purple/garnet hue. A deep, opulent, compelling nose of blackberry, cedar, limestone with a certain “coolness” about it. The palate is full-bodied with filigree tannins and wonderful delineation. It has a tension that I did not find in Chateau Margaux, whilst there is an added dimension of something from the sea, a slight briny element. Good persistency, beautifully poised finish, this wine sets the benchmark for the appellation in 2006.  »

Gault Millau, Jean-Michel Deluc, 04/01/2007
« Vin a la couleur noire bleutée, allant vers un dégradé pourpre. La première impression au nez est très flatteuse, toastée, avec beaucoup de profondeur et une note de tabac blond. Puis arrivent des notes de fruits très mûrs, dans lesquelles s'introduisent des notes d'encens et de menthe poivrée. Un vin subtil et délicat au nez. Belle densité de matière en bouche, sur une trame douce et pleine. La structure se fond dans la matière d'une manière subtile. Le vin est très long en bouche. Cette année Palmer est plus serein qu'exubérant. Un style qui nous plait infiniment.  »

International Wine Cellar, Stephen Tanzer, 04/01/2007
« Good deep ruby-red. Deep, ripe, minerally aromas of plum, mulberry, chocolate and mocha. This boasts a lovely sappy sweetness leavened by fresh acidity, with the chocolatey ripeness carrying through on the palate. Offers terrific but subtle depth of flavor. Wonderfully chewy, dense wine with very suave tannins, firm underlying structure and excellent grip. »

La Revue du Vin de France, Olivier Poels, Hélène Durand et Philippe Maurange, 04/01/2007
« Palmer affiche une belle robe rubis profonde, avec un nez puissant et intense de fruits et de boisé fin. La bouche est charnue, tendue, avec un milieu plein et riche et une finale marquée par une légère austérité. Un joli vin, ample.  »

Le Point, Jacques Dupont, 04/01/2007
« Séveux, minéral, silex, bouche délicate, élégante mais tendue, un très beau fruit bien préservé et beaucoup de longueur, un vin plus en longueur qu'en largeur, de petits tanins délicats, moins explosif que 2005, mais précis et minéral »

Proefschrift, Erik Sauter, 04/01/2007
« Rijpe cabernetneus met finesse en fraîcheur. Her hout is perfect geïntegreerd. Zeer mooie attaque met zowel volume als diepte, ook in de voortzetting wint de wijn nog aan diepte en complexiteit. Rasvolle tannine met fraaie lengte. Niet de explosiviteit van de 2005, maar toch heel geslaagd. Slechts 45 porcent als Château Palmer gebotteld, 45 procent als Alter Ego, de tweede wijn, en 10 porcent in vrac verkocht. »

Vinifera, Jacques Perrin, 04/01/2007
« Belle robe à reflets pourpres. Le nez est très séduisant, associant les notes de prune, de violette, de truffe aux épices douces. La bouche est d'une grande précision et d'une finesse remarquables. Il constitue un ensemble très civilisé, chatoyant, sans aucune aspérité.  »

Wine & Spirit, Gavin Quinney, 04/01/2007
« By no means a bloockbuster, the '06 Palmer is a modern, sleeker version of the '99, itself a wine of the vintage. Stunning depth and intensity with plump, juicy, black fruit. Great précision and utterly delicious.  »

Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss, 04/01/2007
« For Palmer, this is an atypical wine. With a much higher percentage than usual of Cabernet Sauvignon, it loses the plump character normally associated with this estate. Instead, there is a wine with noticeable currant fruit flavors, very fresh, layered with wine and with prominent acidity to finish. It is much more about elegance than richness.  »

Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss, 04/01/2007
« A big, brooding wine, the fruit ripe and dense. Richness surrounds structure, giving a sumptuous layer to the dusty tannins. Flavors of currants, spice and juicy berries flow through the wine, giving power and suavity. The freshness of 2006 shows on the finish of this important wine. Imported by Château Palmer. »

Wine Spectator, James Suckling, 04/01/2007
« Gorgeous nose, with violet, currant and berry, and a vanilla undertone. Full-bodied, with a solid core of ripe fruit and supersilky tannins. Long and rich. Wonderful wine. Love the balance. Almost 95-100. », Izak Litwar, 04/01/2007
« Did really challenge Margaux with its powerful performance. It was packed with ripe blaccurrants and raspberries, and had plenty of nuances and refinement. Extremely stylish and gracious, and therefore so typical for the commune.  », Jancis Robinson, 04/01/2007
« Very, very deep crimson. Very intense and nervy – impressive on the nose – but more obviously big and fruity than the more delicate Ch Margaux. Probably a wise decision to choose another track. Slightly charred and smoky. Round and fresh and very beguiling. Real lift and only the slightest hint of inkiness on the finish. Bravo! Very fine tannins – very suave and polished with good density while still being Margaux. Very sweet . Hints of modern idiom but very gentle. Super silky texture. Sinewy - but polished sinews!  »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 03/01/2007
« From only 50% of the harvest, administrator Thomas Duroux has produced a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 34% Merlot from yields of 37 hectoliters per hectare. The 2006 reveals a touch of austerity along with an impressive dense purple color, and sweet aromas of flowers, licorice, black currants, oak, and underbrush. This structured, powerful, medium to full-bodied, beautifully made, ageworthy 2006 should be ready to drink in 5-6 years, and keep for 25-30. »

, René Gabriel, 11/30/-0001
« 56 % cabernet sauvignon, 44 % merlot. 37 hl/ha. Pourpre-grenat sombre avec une frange rubis. Un bouquet discret et très raffiné, encore en retrait, avec une belle profondeur, des fruits noirs, de la réglisse et des nuances de goudron. La bouche est dense et riche, une matière charnue, une douceur délicate, des tannins fondus et de l'acidité. C'est un Palmer ample et apaisant qui n'a rien de spéculatif mais offre au contraire une grande classe et tout autant de potentiel.  »

, René Gabriel, 11/30/-0001
« 56 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 44 % Merlot. 37 hl/ha. Dunkles Granat-Purpur, rubiner Rand. Diskretes, sehr feines Bouquet, noch zurückhaltend, schöne Tiefe anzeigend, schwarze Beeren, Lakritze, Teernuancen. Fester, stoffiger Gaumen, zeigt viel Fleisch im delikat süssen Extrakt, fest eingebundene Tannine und Säure, weit ausgelegt, ein beruhigender, nicht spekulativer Palmer mit viel Klasse und eben so viel geduldigem Potential.  »

BORDEAUX Aujourd'hui, Franck Dubourdieu, James Lawther et Christophe Tupinier, 11/30/-0001
« Le nez est très pur, complexe. le vin est riche, dense, ample, tout en offrant un tanin au touché de velours, onctueux, raffiné, le tout avec un magnifique équilibre. »