This is very concentrated yet soft and fresh in texture. Full-bodied and round and mouth-filling. So impressive how it fills your mouth yet remains fresh. It’s so framed.
Barrel Sample. This perfumed wine has a high percentage of ripe Petit Verdot that gives extra structure to the generous fruit core. The acidity is intense, complementing the delicious black-cherry fruitiness. It's an exuberant, but balanced, wine. (RV)
Palmer lost 20% of its crop in the spring, and the Merlot was affected more than the Cabernet so there is only around half as much Alter Ego as normal. The yield here is 29hl/ha, so a lot less than most of Margaux, mainly due to vineyard rebalancing after moving to biodynamics and the spring crop loss. The harvest start date of 3rd October was the latest on record, following on from a very long, slow ripening leading to lots of tannins (71 IPT) which although soft and integrated are at a higher level than 2015, while the 3.65pH remains the same. Late harvests encourage elongated tannins, and Thomas says he has never seen such sophistication in the construction of the wines here, so different from the 2015. As with Palmer, Alter Ego has a highly aromatic nose, majoring here on damson and blackberry. Tasted on an overcast Friday morning and yet it sings, with the most beautifully soft expression of black fruits. It's a different style to others, the 13% ABV being extremely low for this amount of Merlot. Beautiful. (JA)
The 2016 Alter Ego represents a fairly big departure is style from what has been the norm in recent vintages. Bright red stone fruit, tobacco, flowers and herbs. The combination of less Merlot and naturally lower alcohol are among the factors that have contributed to an especially silky, perfumed Alter Ego built on considerable finesse. (AG)
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