Headlines

Palmer & you

header image flowers
Between The Rows

BEHIND THE SCENES

At Château Palmer, as in the theatre, the real story often lies in what happens backstage.

Behind the Scenes

Peculiar Pebbles

Behind a bare and stony façade, riches abound… Pebbles underfoot. Millions of them. Black, coarse and brittle; white and round; small and marbled… glorious gravel.

Behind a bare and stony façade, riches abound…
Pebbles underfoot. Millions of them. Black, coarse and brittle; white and round; small and marbled… glorious gravel. The foundation of a remarkable soil known as les graves. For their age alone they inspire wonder – between 1.2 and 1.7 million years old. Over two glacial periods, the Garonne river deposited them here as vast terraces, atop the rises of the Margaux appellation, across the Brauzes Plateau. Their qualities have fascinated us ever since. The soils they create remain poor in organic matter, thus limiting a grapevine’s growth and preventing overdevelopment of shoots and leaves. Deposited in layers, they provide perfect drainage, while retaining and then releasing heat – decidedly propitious conditions for the production of grapes. Precious stones, indeed.
 

Discover
Peculiar_Pebbles
Behind the Scenes

Hear Palmer

If an estate can be tasted, it can also be heard. Since 2010, the primeurs have resonated through the winery.

If an estate can be tasted, it can also be heard.
Since 2010, the primeurs have resonated through the winery. For every spring, jazz offers its vision of the latest vintage of Château Palmer and Alter Ego – live in concert.
Behind this accord are decidedly similar styles of writing one’s history. Both Château Palmer and jazz are composed with liberal improvisation and interpretation, at once within an historical context and an unpredictable present. It’s a search for a singular balance... which they attain, and always in their own way. They are characterised, the one and the other, by phrasings and harmonies both complex and spontaneous, reasoned and moving, universal and mysterious. And Hear Palmer unites them.

Discover
hear_palmer_wine_jazz
Behind the Scenes

Harvest Diaries

To each château its library. That of Palmer boasts gilded tomes aplenty, but it also holds a collection of simple school notebooks, dating back to 1938…

To each château its library. That of Palmer boasts gilded tomes aplenty, but it also holds a collection of simple school notebooks, dating back to 1938…
Small, spiral-bound, graph-ruled notebooks… entire rows of them. The shelves are lined with harvest diaries. Yet school has been out for years. The harvest diary – the object like the expression – is no more. Today, the spreadsheet is king, used henceforth to archive the data from every harvest. On screen, the facts and figures scroll by – parcel, grape variety, number of mini-vats, must weight, grape temperature and acidity. With Excel, only the data remains. But not on the page. Ink stains and scratched-out mistakes; the florid strokes of writing styles from other eras; accidents and customs from the past punctuate these pages of heritage. Indeed, at an estate devoted to its terroir, sometimes there’s a sense of place to be savoured not only in the wines, but in the writing.
 

Discover
Harvest_Diaries_Chateau_palmer
Behind the Scenes

The sheep

While the vineyards rest, they graze…From the beginning of November until the first buds blossom in late March, 190 sheep are given free rein in the vine rows.

While the vineyards rest, they graze…From the beginning of November until the first buds blossom in late March, 190 sheep are given free rein in the vine rows. They enter in small groups. They traverse the estate, from one parcel to another, grazing. Unhurriedly, and with a savvy all their own. By limiting excess growth, they maintain healthy soils, and facilitate access to the vineyard. Especially helpful when an urgent intervention is necessary, notably in the event of heavy rains in the spring. Moreover, by naturally maintaining the grasses trim, they promote the development of diverse, florid cover crops. Finally, the organic material they add to the soil only increases its fertility. Not just woolly lawnmowers, Château Palmer’s sheep are natural stewards of the vineyard.
 

Discover
Sheep_chateau_palmer.jpg
behind the scenes

Decanting wine

After resting for more than 15 years, leaving one’s lees behind is a delicate manoeuvre. This “awakening” may be undertaken in one of two ways.

With age, wine becomes hazy. The slightest turbulence can agitate this increasingly fine and volatile sediment. Like idle sentiments, they are better left aside, so that the vintage can express itself with complete clarity. Time for decantation.
After resting for more than 15 years, leaving one’s lees behind is a delicate manoeuvre. This “awakening” may be undertaken in one of two ways. Either by placing the bottle upright in the cellar and leaving it three to four days, time enough for the “sentiments” to settle. Or the bottle may be laid in a serving basket, kept horizontal at all times, before the banquet begins. In either case, when it is time to transfer to a carafe for serving, do so in a single, gentle movement, keeping one eye on the deposit, and the other on the carafe as it slowly fills with clear wine. Decantation complete.
Let the tasting begin.

Discover
decantation