The 2004 Palmer is not one of my favorite vintages of that decade, though this is one of the best bottles. It lacks intensity and harmony on the nose, with prominent tobacco/cigar smoke scents and just a hint of boot polish. The palate is medium-bodied and spicy on the entry, with a touch of licorice that tapers toward the off-dry finish. I would broach bottles in the next three to four years. Tasted at the Lia’s Wings/book dinner at Medlar restaurant.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2030
47% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot. Fine weather from spring to harvest. No excesses. Had to control yields that were high after the 2003 heat stress. Lots of secondary buds. Similar blend to 1999 but a very different wine – shows that it is not the varietal composition the determines the character of the wine. Deep crimson brightness. Sweetly oaky – intense and immediately recognisable bread dough aroma. Underneath that there’s fine pure upright cassis but also sweet spice and plum and tobacco. Already surprisingly complex. Intense but fleeting floral perfume as that breadiness disappears. On the palate, masses of liquorice and sweet bright expressive fruit. Red and black fruit. Dramatic fruit even though the spice of the oak is still very clear. Toasty sweet spice and coffee. Rich and opulent fruit. Tannins are finely textured and a little firm but velvety. Long way to go though already generous. Delicious. Great finesse and fine-boned though it does show the oak a little more than the 2006. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030
Robert Parker 95
This is a stunning Palmer considering the growing season and for this writer, on par with Chateau Margaux. It has a deep garnet/purple hue. The nose is divine: pure black fruits, bilberry, cedar and a touch of iodine all with fabulous definition. The palate is full-bodied with very fine tannins, modern in style but exuding pedigree and class. Very refined on the finish with just a slight peppery edge. Love this wine, love it! Drink 2016-2035. Tasted November 2008.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035