The wine, a blend of 85% Bordeaux from the vineyards of Chateau Palmer and 15% Syrah from the Rhone was produced as an homage to a wine that might have been released in the 19th century. The Bordeaux varietal’s are 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes from Palmer are not young vines. They were chosen because managing director, winemaker Thomas Duroux felt they would blend best with the Syrah. The production of the wine depends on the vintage. It was not produced in 2005 as it would taken too much Syrah to overcome the strong Bordeaux characteristics.
The “Historical XIX Century Wine” was also produced in 2006 and 2007. However, tastings have shown, subsequent vintages have not been as good as the debut release. Production of this wine has also increased. Chateau Palmer will produce the Historical XIX Century blend in 2010.
A few interesting points regarding labeling laws in Bordeaux which relate to this wine. Notice, the wine does not say Bordeaux. The wine needs to be sold a Vin de Table as all the grapes do not come from Bordeaux or Palmer. Also, Palmer and their Chateau logo has been removed from their historic label as all the grapes did not come from their estate. As a Vin de Table, the wine does not carry a vintage date. But, when you look at the bottom of the label, please note the lot #… L 20.04 which corresponds to the vintage date, 2004. The top of the capsule reads XIX. This changed with the release of the 2010 Historical XIX Century blend. From that point forward, the wine will be sold under the Vin de France designation. The lot numbering will remain the same. The wine will be marked L20.10.
Chateau Palmer also produces a small amount of dry, white Bordeaux wine. The production of white Bordeaux wine at the estate might seem like a new experiment. But that is not the case. In the beginning of the 20th century, it was customary at Chateau Palmer to produce a small amount of white wine for the personal use of the owners. That practice was discontinued at some point in the 1930’s. At the start of the 21st century, that tradition was revived. The first vintage for Vin Blanc de Palmer was 2007. The wine is produced from an unusual blend of 50% Muscadelle, 35% Loset and 15% Sauvignon Gris. Production hovers at close to 100 cases. If you think a 100 case production is going to make that wine hard to find, just try and locate one of the rare bottles of experimental, sweet white Bordeaux wines produced by Palmer from 100% Merlot blanc!
for more infoWith thanks to Jeff Leve from http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com, for the invaluable information