Another brilliant example from administrator Thomas Duroux and his team, the intense second wine, Palmer’s 2012 Alter Ego (51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot), offers up plenty of blackberry and crème de cassis notes along with some spring flowers, licorice and subtle background oak. Opulently textured, full-bodied and stunning, this is an outrageously successful second wine to drink over the next 12-15 years. Drink: 2015 - 2030.
||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015
The second wine, which has gone from strength to strength over recent years, the 2012 Alter Ego de Palmer, is a blend of 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot. Spicy and earthy, displaying notes of new saddle leather, roasted herbs and meaty barbecue, it is a medium-bodied, fleshy, attractive wine to drink over the next 10-12 years.
Thomas Duroux produced a brilliant 2012 Palmer that is unquestionably one of the stars of the vintage. High levels of tannin were up there with their best vintages, at least analytically. The final blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot results in a style of wine that is totally different than that of its nearby neighbors, Chateau Margaux, Rauzan-Segla and Malescot St.-Exupery.
||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013
This is amazing for the second wine with incredible white truffle, stone and currant character. Purity of fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, silky and refined. Fantastic length. Better in 2018 but almost impossible to resist now. Incredible.
||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015
This has incredible length for a second wine. Full body, with dark berry and raspberry character, ultra-fine tannins, and a long, long finish. Tiny grape yields for the vintage. 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot.
||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013
The 2012 Alter Ego is unusually dark in this vintage, the result of abnormally low yields and very ripe Merlot. An exuberant, voluptuous wine, the 2012 hits the palate with a mélange of black cherry, plum, smoke, licorice, tobacco and grilled herbs. There is more than enough tannin and acidity to support a good decade-plus of very fine drinking. This is a superb second wine that should be on consumers' radar screens, as it over delivers, big time. The 2012s at Palmer are made from unusually low yields of around 28 hectoliters per hectare. One of the effects of the 2011 hailstorm that hit the estate was a lowering of the following year's crop, which has resulted in rich, tannic wines. Estate Manager Thomas Duroux opted to give the 2012s more time in barrel than is customary and the wines were bottled in September 2014. Drink 2016 - 2027.
||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2016
18% press wine, pH 3.65. Quite strong leafy Cabernet aromas, but lovely freshness and round tannins. Is this like Palmer of old? I don't think I would guess this was majority Merlot... Just slightly green on the end.
||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013
This is the second wine of Chateau Palmer and always very smooth and supple. In 2012 the blend is 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot, which has resulted in a smooth, early-drinking wine that tastes almost like a Pomerol. A Beautifully perfumed, sweet nose of strawberries and spring flowers, vanilla pods and a hint of cinnamon. Silky and plush on the palate, pure and unforced.
||Farr Vintners, March 2013
There is a mix of flavours on the nose rich black cherry backed by fresher red. The start of the palate is rich and sweet with rounded tannins and although fresher towards the back the finish has black plum richness. 2017-26.
||Derek Smedley MW, April 2013
The gap between Alter Ego and its grand vin, Château Palmer, is narrower in this vintage than one would expect. For the first time ever, both wines contain some Petit Verdot, partly to make up for the smaller percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very forward wine: supple and scented with violet and raspberry notes, backed up by spicy plum and subtle, smoky oak. Drink: 2018-28
||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013