Join Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer and Bordeaux expert Jane Anson for Decanter’s first-ever virtual tasting and masterclass, where they will showcase three decades of renowned Margaux and Third Growth property, Château Palmer.

Though ranked Third Growth in 1855, Palmer is for many rivalled only by First Growth Château Margaux – and Palmer 1961 is one of the great wines of the 20th century. 

Duroux and Anson will present this exclusive masterclass from the estate and will explore three top vintages spanning three decades, including both Palmer’s flagship wine and second label Alter Ego de Palmer. This will be an exceptional tasting of six wines in a side by side comparison of two different expressions of a single terroir.


Event Details

Date: Saturday 28 November 2020
Time: 19:00 – 20:30 GMT
Hosts: Thomas Duroux (Château Palmer) & Jane Anson (Decanter)
Price: £195 (including wine samples - UK only), £10 (link only)

Click here for more information about ticket types

The Wines

  • Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ème Cru Classé 2015
  • Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 2015
  • Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ème Cru Classé 2009
  • Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 2009
  • Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ème Cru Classé 1999
  • Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 1999

Château Palmer

Described by Anson on Decanter Premium as “an 1855 third growth that has not been afraid to reinvent itself in recent years”. Château Palmer “has always been both deeply entrenched in the heart of Margaux, and yet something of an outlier. That’s not just because it is today one of only a handful of fully certified organic and biodynamic châteaux in the appellation. Palmer also bucks the rules of the Médoc by planting its Merlot grapes (which form a higher proportion of the vineyard than many in Margaux) on some of its best gravel outcrops, helping explain the velvety tannins and seductive fruits that are such a marker of the wine.” 


Legend says namesake British army general Charles Palmer bought the vineyard while on his way home after the 1814 Battle of Toulouse. The sellers, the Gascqs, had produced a good quality wine from their exceptional, gravelly terroir, but Palmer spent over-freely on expansion and promoting: finances exhausted, he lost it all in 1843. By 1853, banking brothers Isaac and Emile Pereire were in charge. They reorganised, added the château, and generally battled with turn of the century tribulations – until the 1930s recession beat them too. Credit for today’s fine estate stems from a 1938 takeover by the Bordeaux wine families of Sichel, Mähler-Besse, Ginestet and Miailhe. Today, the estate is still owned by the descendants of two of the original families – the Sichels and the Mähler-Besses - who are active third generation partners in running the estate.



Thomas Duroux

Thomas Duroux was just 34 when he took over from Bertrand Bouteiller as CEO of Château Palmer in 2004. A professional agronomist and œnologist, he brought with him a decade of experience in the making of great wines around the world: in Bordeaux, Hungary, South Africa, California and Tuscany. Back in his native region, Duroux could carry out a new vision for the Grands Crus of Bordeaux. 

Duroux is part of a new generation of winemakers around the world who have tapped into available funds and resources to forensically examine their vineyards; harnessing science and technology to flesh out knowledge previously acquired via experience and hunches. It’s essentially a quest for ever-greater precision. And Duroux believes that this engenders a more respectful attitude towards the environment, drawing on descriptions of the farm as a living organism.

A master of equilibrium, always seeking greater depth, elegance and refinement for Château Palmer wines, Duroux brings to his task not only impeccable taste, experience and respect for an unequalled tradition but also youth, a spirit of independence and a talent for invention and innovation.

Jane Anson

Jane Anson is Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent and columnist and has lived in the region since 2003. She is the author of Inside Bordeaux (BB&R Publishing 2020), Wine Revolution, The Club of Nine and Bordeaux Legends, a history of the 1855 First Growth wines, as well as co-author or translator of over a dozen wine and travel books.

Jane has won several awards for her writing, including Louis Roederer Wine Online Communicator of the Year 2020, and Born Digital Best Editorial 2020.

She is a graduate of the DUAD tasting diploma with the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology and an accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux École du Vin.