With its usual high proportion of Merlot, Palmer 2003 was always going to be a generous, very ripe wine. And so it is proving, but what is so satisfying about the wine at this stage is that the great sweet fruit, which comes right out of the glass. Underneath, of course, there are tannins, so this wine could be drunk soon, and then aged for another 15 years.
Light in its touch but lasting, like a sting, Palmer feels precise in '03, ripe but fresh. The wine holds its shape, the texture succulent, with cut. The surface is cool and elegant, with a pretty strawberry tone; underneath, it feels full and dense, with a more somber complexity. Impressively taut, this should age well. Check on it ten years from the vintage; it may go 15 or 20.
So much milk chocolate and dark fruits on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy, almost dusty tannins. Some might call it a little coarse on the palate. It needs some more time, but turns to loads of milk chocolate on the finish. Pull the cork in 2013.
Very deep purple colour. Warm cassis, mocha, vanillin and cinnamon aromas predominate with a pinch of anise and some dried plum. The palate reveals this as a very big, dense, weighty Palmer, with less elegance / femininity and more fruit and alcohol punch. Medium to firm, fine tannins and medium+ acidity. Long finish.
Blackberry, licorice and tar follow through to a full-bodied palate, with firm, silky tannins and a medium berry and vanilla aftertaste. Juicy wine.
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