Alter Ego de Palmer (2nd wine of Palmer) 2010

Margaux, Second wine

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Tasting Notes

An equal-part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Alter Ego represents 50% of the crop at Palmer. It has been an interesting second wine to take note of ever since the first vintage in 1998. The 2010 displays loads of chocolaty espresso notes, with plenty of punch, glycerin and unctuosity as well as some tannin like its bigger sister, but it is clearly meant to be drinkable at a much earlier age. It will still require several years of cellaring and should last 12-15 years.

Score: 91

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2013-2028 01 February 2013

For many of the classified growths in the Medoc, the quality of the second wines has soared over the last 5-6 years, and Alter Ego is no exception. The 2010 Alter Ego is the richest ever made. Relatively high in alcohol, this is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Merlot. Thick and juicy, its black fruits intermixed with acacia flowers, camphor, and subtle smoky notes are followed by a plump, corpulent style of wine with loads of fruit, glycerin and texture. Drink it over the next 15 or so years.

Score: 90 - 92

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 04 May 2011

51%CS, 49%M in a blend that is similar to the 2009, 45% of production with 5% sold off in bulk. Very fragrant with raspberries, cherries and lift. Very charming texture with delicate tannins, but there is considerable weight and grip on the finish. Less hedonistic and more serious than usual but all the better for it.

Score: 91 - 93

Albany Vintners, - 28 April 2011

49% Merlot, 51% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very dark purplish crimson. Markedly aromatic. Very lifted with a strong undertow. Racy and vibrant, just a little green note there and even orange peel. Great tension and even a little sucking-stone character. Much more structure than usual for Alter Ego. Certainly doesn’t taste hot. Alter Ego is still theoretically made specifically to be drunk young but 2010 presented a challenge to this philosophy! ‘In a vintage like 2010, you cannot go against it,’ Thomas Duroux. This tastes like a very smart wine off its own bat. A most unusual Alter Ego. pH 3.55. 14.4%

Score: 17

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2020-2028 18 April 2011

Fragrant wild violets nose, wonderful weight and texture, succulence and firmness, definitely not a 'second wine'.

Score: 17 - 18

Decanter, Maturity: 2015-2025 01 April 2011

Velvety and inviting, with lovely dark plum and blackberry fruit, followed by a long, caressing finish. This has some grip too, but it's nicely integrated. Should have some staying power. Tasted non-blind.

Score: 92 - 95

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 31 March 2011

Delivering 3.55pH with 14.4 % alcohol, a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Merlot, this has a very tightly wound bouquet with dark cherries, cassis and a touch of liquorice. There is a very fine sense of definition at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with sturdy, firm tannins, layers of mocha-tinged dark berried fruit leading to a structured, quite spicy finish with gentle but insistent grip. Tasted March 2011.

Score: 90 - 92

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 19 April 0111