Why? The 2013 although a "tough" vintage, great wineries such as Chateau Palmer still shines through by carefully selecting the grapes, and cutting final production to maintain the quality and integrity of their final product, Chateau Palmer was left with only 1/3 of their regular production, and many of the grapes that would normally be made as their Grand Vin ended up in their Second label (Alter Ego)
To me this an excellent value for a wine that's ready to drink, well made and delicious coming from a prestige Chateau at a reasonable price!
Winter 2013 will remain in the memories of our vineyard craftsmen as one of the dampest of the last few years, significantly complicating their work conditions. Average temperatures between April 1 and May 31 were the lowest of the decade. Early in the season, our observations showed a delay of about ten days when compared to the 2012 vintage, which was already considered late. In the month of May, the rainy conditions caused an important amount of coulure in our older Merlot, also affecting the Cabernet Sauvignon. The risk of mildew was, as it had been in 2012, particularly fierce. Summer weather was then more favorable to us. The month of July was the hottest of the past fourteen years, without being marked by a heat wave. The development of the vines remained stalled on a late growth-cycle and we expected to begin harvesting in early October. But the month of September held an unpleasant surprise for us: rain, humidity and warm temperatures were our daily due. Dealing with the pressure of botrytis became the determining factor for planning harvest. We began harvesting on Friday, September 27, with a few of the young Merlot. The next day we increased our pace and, on Sunday, September 29, we harvested 10 hectares in one single day. The Merlot, so important to the identity of our wines, were picked in time and showed a level of phenolic and aromatic maturity that surpassed our expectations. We continued harvesting at a lively pace with the Petit Verdot and the Cabernet Sauvignon. The concentration of sugar was somewhat inferior to that of the Merlot, but the aromatic palettes were clean and precise, showing no vegetative odors. This confirmed the admirable reaction of the estate’s terroir in such difficult weather conditions, reflecting also the positive influence of the lovely month of July. During winemaking, the must was handled with care to avoid the extraction of any potentially rustic tannins. We were able to carefully preserve the silky and velvety identity of the estate’s wines. To find the right expression of this difficult vintage, we held many different tasting sessions, each leading to numerous debates. Finally, only a third of the total production was retained for the final blend of Château Palmer.