Classification: Third Growth (3ème Cru)
Château Palmer once belonged to the Gascq family and was part of the ancient estate of Château d'Issan. Its wines were known as Château de Gascq and were served at the court of Versailles under Louis XV. General Charles Palmer, who had served under Wellington in the English army, purchased the Château in 1814. Palmer expanded the vineyards and thanks to his influential relations "Palmer's Claret” was much sought after by London clubs, and was particularly appreciated by the future King George IV.
In 1938 several families of Bordeaux, English, and Dutch extraction (the Sichel, Mähler-Besse, Ginestet, and Miailhe families), all involved in the wine trade, united to buy Château Palmer. The descendants of the Sichel and Mähler-Besse families are still major shareholders of the Château, furthering the work done by their grandparents. Château Palmer has a loyal following and deserves a higher classification as it frequently out performs the Second Growths.
Château Palmer's vineyards span 128 acres and lie on gravely rises several metres thick in the communes of Margaux and Cantenac, overlooking the Gironde Estuary. The soil consists of brittle black lydite, white and yellow quartz, quartzite mottled with black, green or blue, and white chalcedony.
There is a saying in the Médoc that the greatest terroirs are "within sight of the river". This saying stresses the importance of the layer of gravel essential for growing quality wine grapes. The grapes grown are 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. This is an unusually high percentage of Merlot and makes a soft, well rounded wine.
Château Palmer's wines are famous for their finesse and elegance. The subtle balance between powerful, but understated tannins and aromatic richness makes Palmer an incomparably charming wine, even when very young. The dark inky red wines yield aromas of black currant, coffee and spices. The wines are very well structured, rich and sometimes exotic and long barrel ageing is essential for Château Palmer to reflect its gravelly terroir's potential, and display volume and richness. This ageing process continues slowly for many years in the bottle.