Most wines needn’t be aged: buy them, uncork, and pour. Then there are wines which shouldn’t see sunlight for at least a decade and such hibernation, like with caterpillars and butterflies, metamorphoses these wines into something truly spectacular. Recently I tried one such elixir, Bordeaux’s Chateau Palmer. Among the many Chateaux in the region, Palmer is a popular one. This Margaux winery may have been classified as a Third Growth by no lesser than Napoleon but today it stands tall and equal among higher-rated wines.
But more than the legacy it’s the tactile acrobatics that this wine is capable of which makes it so special; lush, fruity, smoky, intense, elegant, formidable on the start and leading to a lasting linger that fades ever so slowly. It can be a good idea to start a tasting with the Alter Ego, which is the younger brother (or sister, if you prefer) of the Chateau wine. Similar exploit but just more approachable when younger. And then graduate to Palmer and see why the best way to describe a Bordeaux wine is by the silence each sip leaves in its wake.