First made in 2004, the Chateau Palmer Historical XIXth Century Wine is a two-region blend, not a “Bordeaux wine” per AOC regulations. The mix includes 42.5% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the Chateau Palmer estate vineyards. The other 15% is Syrah taken from the Rhone Valley.
Because of the regional and varietal mix, Historical XIXth Century Wine is not labeled as Bordeaux but simply Vin. For the same legal reasons, the name Chateau Palmer, the picture of their chateau does not appear on the front label and the wine is not vintage dated. Vintage can be determined by the lot number on the bottom of the bottle. For example, L20.13 reflects the 2013 vintage.
The wine is not made every year.
Chateau Palmer, classified a Third Growth Bordeaux, is in the commune of Cantenac, the heart of the Margaux appellation.
The Palmer vineyards, originally part of the larger estate of Chateau d’Issan, cover 66 hectares of gravelly soil on terraces overlooking the Garonne River. There are equal amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (47% each). The remainder is Petit Verdot. From 2014 forward, the entire property has been farmed biodynamically.
Chateau Palmer is named after Major General Charles Palmer of the British Army, who bought the estate in 1814 from Marie de Gascq. A passionate man, he invested a great deal of time, energy and money to develop his property, purchasing land and buildings in the communes of Cantenac, Issan, and Margaux, and by the 1830s, his property covered 163 hectares, 82 hectares of which were vineyards. “Palmer's Claret” quickly gained popularity in London clubs and even found favor in the eyes of the future King George IV.
Charles sold the estate in 1843. The current owners, the Sichel and Mahler-Besse families, have been in place since 1938. Their focus throughout has been on authenticity, quality and consistency.