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.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2027
Robert Parker 93
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 creme 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.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030