May 2020 - While January was marked by a few days of extreme cold, the rest of the winter proved relatively mild. Throughout the season rainfall was moderate but sufficient to partially replenish essential reserves in our soils. The vines’ bud burst began almost a week ahead of schedule, but would progress thereafter in a smooth and even manner. The spring that followed was cool and rainy, requiring a high degree of precision in our management of the vineyard. Despite the capricious weather, flowering unfolded without difficulties, fuelling hopes of a bountiful harvest.
Then, at the end of June, the weather conditions would change radically. A lasting period of hot and dry weather set in. Two heat waves between the 26th and 27th of June and the 22nd and 25th of July were fortunately endured without consequence. The limited summer rainfall – 50 mm between July and August – fostered the accumulation of polyphenols in the berries. The grapes underwent their colour change in excellent conditions and by mid-August the prospect of a fine vintage was clear. We began harvesting the Merlot on the 19th of September amidst weather conditions close to those of summer. The berries were concentrated, aromatic and loaded with sugar. The harvest continued and we entered the autumn under fine, steady rain- fall which lowered the potential alcohol of the Cabernet Sauvignon. By the 11th of October the harvest was complete.
A Palmer wine remains the intimate reflection of a mosaic of terroirs specific to this beautiful estate. But it is also the expression of a unique combination of fleshy Merlots and silky Cabernets, complete with a touch of Petit Verdot. In 2019, the Merlots enjoyed dry and sunny weather conditions up to the very end, giving rise to wines full of power, exuberance and flesh. The Cabernets, harvested after the scattered rains of late September, would develop a certain coolness and reserve, to produce wines of rare distinction. The Petit Verdots, for their part, would exhibit remarkable finesse.
Today, both Château Palmer and Alter Ego express a purity and aromatic clarity rarely seen in an abundant vintage. These wines don’t lie; they are remarkably true to the terroir of Château Palmer. And are already part of the rarefied circle of exceptional vintages.