We are delighted and privileged to bring to auction the greatest retrospective of direct-from-Bordeaux Château Palmer ever to come to the market. It is a great honour to have collaborated with both one of the owning families and the firm of Mähler-Besse in bringing this unprecedented collection to Asia.


It is entirely fitting that this sale takes place in Hong Kong because, after Britain’s long-standing, affectionate relationship with Château Palmer, this gold-standard 3ème Cru Classé was one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to embrace Asia and those responsible for the property worked and travelled ceaselessly to see that this Asian audience had access to their wine and knew how it tasted. When I returned from France to England in the 1970s to join the wine trade, and became exposed to both the British wine trade and private Bordeaux wine connoisseurs, it seemed that every other ‘pundit’ talked of nothing else but Château Palmer. And, when I sampled the 1961, I could see why! It was glorious, sumptuous, even when young – in fact, I shall never forget those memories and recall these impressions now when I taste younger wines, as they can turn into swans! As if the 1961 were not enough, the 1959, 1962, 1966 and 1970 followed suit, so I, and others, were in clover. It was a splendid epoch and fixed Palmer in the firmament of Bordeaux Greats.

CHÂTEAU PALMER 1961, 1966, 1970 AND 1983.

The best wine properties never stand still and Château Palmer has entered a new Golden Age, in keeping with its global reputation. This remarkable record has been aided by the continuous ownership, increasingly rare as top Bordeaux estates attain such value. At Mähler-Besse, another respected family firm, Borie-Manoux, is now the majority shareholder. And, since 2004, Thomas Duroux has brought his considerable talents to taking Palmer to new levels of excellence, forging new friends along the way. Thomas carries on a tradition of devoted vineyard carers and winemakers as, before him and into the mid-1990s, the remarkable Chardon family achieved in the preceding decades. Memorable wines are always interlinked with memorable personalities. Of many happy times at Château Palmer, there was the ‘musical’ dinner in June 2003. It was called Les Harmonies de Palmer, with Alain Passard of L’Arpège in Paris playing with the notes. Palmer 1982 in Jeroboam (miraculously, one is in this sale), with pigeon and black truffles, was followed by the divine 1959 (also in the sale, in various formats) that accompanied Bernard Anthony’s (the greatest ‘fromager’ in France) Comté from the 1999 vintage. And then I remembered that Debussy was a distinguished client of Palmer……harmony indeed.


Château Palmer will always stand out in the Médoc, not only because it is a jewel in the region’s crown, but it has more Merlot in the ‘grand vin’ in comparison with other top properties in the area, often about half the blend. Allied to Palmer’s variegated soils, this gives a wine of opulence and velvety richness, often plummy, sometimes walnutty, and always generous. This is what keeps us beguiled and passionate about Palmer. This is also why we have two formidable lifestyle lots in this sale – a private dinner and visit at Château Palmer and a 225 litre barrel of Château Palmer, with a private visit and dinner. So, live the dream and experience Château Palmer at the pinnacle of its fame.



04 June 2016 | Hong Kong