Wine Reviews: Champagne Palmer

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 05-11-2019

thumbnail (2)It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed some Champagne here, so I’m excited to dig back in! This week, I’m tasting some wines from Champagne Palmer.

Champagne Palmer is a cooperative that formed 70 years ago, a combined effort between seven growers in the Montagne de Reims region. They now source wine from hundreds of growers in more than forty different crus. About half of those vineyards are Grand and Premier Crus in the Montagne de Reims, while their other vineyards are located in the Côte de Sézanne, Côte des Bar and Marne Valley.

Cellar Master Xavier Berdin and his four oenologists use three different perpetual reserves (or soleras) to add depth and spice to their wines. The nonvintage cuvées are aged at least three years, while the vintage cuvées spend six to eight years on the lees.

These wines are relatively new to the U.S. market, so I was excited to taste them. I wasn’t disappointed. Don’t let the CM (Coopérative-Manipulant) scare you away — these are precise, zesty, elegant, complex wines. I found a lot of deliciousness and character in these wines, and I’d feel confident recommending them to any American Champagne lover looking for something new.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

N.V. Palmer & Co Champagne Brut Réserve- France, Champagne
SRP: $60
Deep yellow color. The nose shows rich, doughy notes with yellow apples, apricot, lemon curd, topped in hay, chalk dust, ginger and verbena. Lovely depth on the palate, creamy yet bright acidity. Apples and apricots, honey and ginger notes mix with brighter elements of crushed chalk, minerals, sea salt, biscuits, spiced tea. Nice depth and complexity. Sourced from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards in Montagne de Reims. About half Chardonnay with Pinot Noir and about 15% Pinot Meunier, this includes 35% reserve wines. Aged four years on the lees with an 8 g/l dosage. (89 points)

N.V. Palmer & Co Champagne Rosé Reserve – France, Champagne
SRP: $80
Deep copper color. Nose shows raspberries, cherries, along with herbal tea, rose petals, musky cologne and chalk dust. Crisp acidity, tons of tiny bubbles, this has a laser-like focus, with lots of lemon, raspberries and tart strawberries. Complex notes of spiced tea, musk, sea salt, sliced cucumber, minerals and chalk dust. Aged two to three years on the lees with an 8g/l dosage, this is an even mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 10-15% Pinot Meunier, includes 35% reserve wines. (90 points)

N.V. Palmer & Co Champagne Blanc de Blancs- France, Champagne
SRP: $90
Bold yellow color. The nose shows lovely, biscuity goodness with honeycomb, salted almond, chalk dust, crushed shells, all on top of lemon curd and yellow apples. Bright acidity frames the wine so nicely while rich texture, creamy mouthfeel and find bubbles provide depth. Yellow apples, lemon, apricot, the fruit is blended nicely with sea salt, chalk dust, brioche, salted almond, hints of flowers and musk. Complex, rich yet zesty, the different elements are woven in nicely. Sourced primarily from Montagne de Reims Premier Crus Villers-Marmery and Trépail. Aged five years on the lees with a 7 g/l dosage. (91 points)

2009 Palmer & Co Champagne Vintage Brut- France, Champagne
SRP: $125
Light gold color. The nose boasts lemons, green apples, apricot, mixed with light biscuits, sea salt and ocean spray, with chalk dust and minerals. Bright acidity on the palate yet some creamy depth and very fine bubbles. Limes, lemons, tart apricot, the fruit is blended with a mix of minerals, crusty sea salt, quinine, and I get some toasted baguette, honey, raw almond. A bright Champagne with a pleasant sharpness, but the depth is there as well. I’d love to see what this does with five years in the cellar. An even split between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this spends 8 years on the lees. (91 points)

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