Historical XIXth Century Blend

Dear M. Duroux,

First of all, I would like to tell you that I really appreciate your work (even though I can count on my hands the opportunities I had to drink recent Palmer wines).

Secondly, I wanted to ask you what was your part in the elaboration of the Historical XIXth Century Blends. Indeed, if I recall correctly, you joined Château Palmer in 2004, which was the same year the first Historical XIXth Century Blend was made.

What’s more, how do you consider this wine ? Is it just an “homage to the past” or more than that to you ?

I had the idea to do this experimental wine after an incredible tasting in the Bay Area with one of the most knowledgeable wine collector I have ever meet. We had an incredible Chateau Palmer 1869 and we discussed this old practice to had few percentage of hermitage in the final blend of the top médoc.
When I came back home I thought: well our wines are deep enough now days and there is no reason to add anything (and it is of course not permitted), but what would be the result if we do so?
I took me a little time to convince my shareolders to make this experiment and they finally accepted it. We did it with one lot of merlot and one lot of cabernet sauvignon from Chateau Palmer ands I went to the Rhône (where I have a lot of friend) to find a little batch of great syrah (10% of the final blend). The idea was to respect the style of our terroir adding a little touch of something (like salt and pepper). It worked well and the wine is fascinating today.
We did again in 2006, 2007 and 2010 (this last vintage is not realsed yet).

So this a kind of experiment or a wine to poor in a blind taste!!!

Thank you very much for your answer.

I must admit this wine left me with a strong impression when I tasted it this year at Max Bordeaux Roppongi. Sadly enough, it wasn’t during a blind tasting…

To my mind, it is really amazing that you are able to do things with passion while satisfying your shareholders at the same time (for instance, the Jazz events during the primeur campaign).

By the way, since you are making a new vintage of the Historical XIXth Century Blend, will it become a “Vin de France” due to the new regulations (Anivin de France) ?

Thank you for your kind words. And yes the Jazz event is a wonderfull opportunity to celebrate music creativity and the new vintage in the same time.
The 2010 Historical XIX century wine will be a Vin de France and not a vin de table anymore. But I will keep the lot number L20.10 just to remember the old rules!! (no vintage and no origin informations for a vin de table in France)

We all enjoyed the XIXth Century at the Palmer dinner that Jean-Louis Carbonnier hosted here in Orange County - notes here - https://wineimport.discoursehosting.net/t/chateau-palmer-dinner-notes/61403/1

I’m still wishing I was able to be the ONE to recognize Hermitage in the blend, but alas…

Also being a Northern Rhone fan, I’m drooling to try this wine . . . .

You should indeed!!!

Yes, congrats on making this wine.
I’m dying to serve it blind one day. I have the 2004, but will wait a few years.

People think that the great growths are set in stone, but nothing could be further than the truth.
When they’re not making “off-the-wall” wines (pardon me, Thomas!), these grands crus go out to make wine in South Africa, Australia, America…

Alex R.