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Château Palmer and jazz

A common philosophy

Like Château Palmer, jazz has deep roots, with a long history that has
undergone many influences and inspirations and, while traditional, is always
open to innovation. This respect for tradition is constantly enhanced by
expanding its limits - while remaining faithful to its roots.

Jazz is a blend of tradition and innovation, memory and improvisation,
listening and dialogue. Wine is the same, combining terroir, climate,
grape varieties, science, and technology. However, creating fine wine
also takes inspiration, good taste, expertise, and an excellent memory
that ties everything together. That is how great wines are made.
Official Château website:
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2016… Of Rhythm and Silk  

Some vintages, it seems the entire cycle of life, 
from bud break to harvest, progresses at the tranquil 
tempo of exquisite clockwork. Yet it’s when the seasons 
go offbeat, and vignerons must dig deep to find 
their rhythm anew, that estates can truly reveal the essence 
of a grand cru – so it was in 2016. 
A winter so mild the Merlot vines budded early, a spring 
so wet we feared a mildew calamity… 2016 kept 
our vineyard team on their toes. But they rose to 
the challenge like great jazz players, who upon hitting 
an unexpected note, can fold the troublesome tone into 
a jubilant new melody. They improvised with gusto and 
grandeur, until a dry, mellow summer brought a sigh of relief. 
As autumn neared, the grapes began to don their habitual 
midnight blue. Finally, on October 3 began the latest 
harvest in memory! Yields were modest, unsurprising given 
the year’s ordeals, but quality was simply stunning. Powerful, 
perfectly ripe tannins, extraordinary aromatics… sublimating 
such superior fruit is a cellar team’s raison d’être. Though still 
maturing, the nascent Palmer and Alter Ego 2016 already boast 
equilibriums wholly distinct from previous great vintages. 

Balancing elegance and depth, their alcohol content is 
quite typical, yet their tannic structure utterly exceptional. 
In the end, it’s Palmer’s unmistakeable velvet character 
which distinguishes these wines as our own, silken proof
that in this unexpected vintage, Château Palmer found 
its rhythm after all.

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Archie Shepp

Born in Florida in 1937, Archie Shepp is a saxophonist, composer, 
pianist, singer, poet and playwright. Deeply committed to 
the African-American Civil Rights Movement, in the 1950s 
he would share the stage with the era’s most revolutionary artists: 
Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons, Jimmy Garrison… In 1962, 
he released his debut album alongside co-leader Bill Dixon.
In 1965, Archie Shepp would join up with John Coltrane for the 
legendary recording Ascension, which marked a turning point 
for avant-garde jazz. Composing a career cadenced by one 
audacious album and collaboration after another, Shepp finally 
received the highest honour in American jazz on April 4, 2016, 
when he was presented with the NEA Jazz Masters award. 
In 2017, he will celebrate his 80th birthday.

Carl-Henri Morisset, Darryl Hall
& Steve McCraven

Carl-Henri Morisset took up the piano at 8 years old, and later earned
his diploma in jazz studies from the Conservatoire à Rayonnement
Départemental du Val Maubuée, before gaining a place at
the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris. Today, at just 25 years old,
he’s become a fixture in Archie Shepp’s music.

Born in Philadelphia, the virtuosic bassist Darryl Hall was awarded
first place in the 1996 Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition.
Now he’s the favourite accompanist of several internationally
renowned artists, including Archie Shepp.

Washington-born Steve McCraven studied drums at the famed
Berklee College of Music. For more than 18 years now,
he’s performed alongside Archie Shepp.

The 2016 vintage interpreted by
Archie Shepp Quartet

Château Palmer, March 31, 2017

The 2016 vintage interpreted by
Archie Shepp Quartet

Château Palmer, March 31, 2017

Download tracks from 2016 vintage

Burning Bright (Palmer)

interpreted by
Archie Shepp Quartet


Prelude to a Kiss (Alter Ego)

interpreted by
Archie Shepp Quartet


2015, the next in line of
the great vintages

There is no doubt about it; the number 5 is the sign of a very fine vintage.
Since 1945, only the 1965 vintage hasn’t lived up to expectations.
We were therefore “statistically” expecting a very good harvest,
and we weren’t disappointed.

After a long sleepy winter, the vines awoke to perfect spring conditions,
sunny at the beginning and wet towards the end, ensuring good growth.
The vines thrived, especially during flowering, a unique moment
in the life on the estate, which every wine grower stowed away in
their memory banks with joy after the chaotic flowering that has been
the norm over the past few years. The first steps of the 2015 vintage
were already very promising.

During the warm summer, the vines concentrated on berry formation,
then on berry growth in the period of more humid weather.
A perfect balance, so the promise of the number 5 was more and
more present in our minds.

The harvest started on September 22nd with the rich,
and perfectly ripe Merlot. The Cabernet Sauvignon and
Petit Verdot followed with an equally rich harvest.

Today, after the first months of barrel ageing, everything leads us
to believe that 2015 will be the next in line of the great vintages,
of 2010, 2009 and 2005.

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A unique duo, brought together
for the event

Dan Tepfer and Thomas Enhco are both extremely talented young pianists, both from very different musical backgrounds.

Dan Tepfer

Born in Paris, he is a pianist and a composer
living in New York.
He has played all over the world, either as a solo artist
or as part of big orchestras, and he had the privilege to be
backed by the legendary alto saxophonist Lee Konitz.
The record Duos with Lee bares witness to the
meeting of these two musicians. In 2011, his Goldberg
Variations/Variations project, in which he interpreted
the entire collection of Bach, off by heart adding his
own improvised variations, received a great number of
glowing reviews.

Thomas Enhco

He was born in Paris to a large musical family.
At the age of 14 he formed his own trio and composed and
recorded his first album Esquisse.
He has played many concerts in France and around the
world and was noticed in 2008 in Japan by Itoh “88”
Yasohachi, a well respected Japanese Jazz producer, who
enabled him to record his second album Someday My
Prince Will Come.
In September 2014, he signed a contract with Universal
Classic & Jazz, and recorded his first solo album Feathers. 

The 2015 vintage interpreted by
Dan Tepfer and Thomas Enhco

Château Palmer, March 25th, 2016

The 2015 vintage interpreted by
Dan Tepfer & Thomas Enhco

Château Palmer, March 25, 2016

Download tracks from 2015 vintage


interpreted by
Dan Tepfer and Thomas Enhco


Alter Ego

interpreted by
Dan Tepfer and Thomas Enhco


2014... 200 years of Palmer

Everything had started quite well: a rainy winter had allowed 
the estate to renew its water reserves. In the spring, flowering 
went well, despite a few cases of poor fruit set among 
the older Merlot. At this point, we had high hopes for the quality 
of this new vintage.

But beginning in July, the weather became unstable and the vines 
focused on their fine foliage, to the detriment of their grapes. 
The month of August wasn't much better, veraison was slow 
and the berries began to swell...

Luckily the sun finally returned at the end of August. Little by little, 
September’s extraordinary weather conditions modified the profile 
of the 2014 vintage. The difference in veraison between the vines 
diminished and the size of the berries decreased, concentrating 
all the elements that make up this new vintage: sugar, anthocyanin 
and tannin levels all increased.The particularly good weather allowed 
us to harvest perfectly ripe grapes, with no risk of botrytis.

At this stage the wines of the 2014 vintage are an excellent reflection 
of the diversity of the estate’s plots. Each personality is expressed 
in these two blends as if a veil had been lifted. It is without a doubt 
one of the first results of our biodynamic approach.

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Dal Sasso Big Band

Christophe Dal Sasso is considered one of the best
music arrangers in France. With four albums to
his name he is praised by the critics as a composer
unlike any other, he has also composed an album
with the saxophonist David Liebman ("Exploration", 2006).
Del Sasso chose the Big Band to perform and resonate
in his own style, the masterpiece, A Love Supreme by
John Coltrane, a true landmark in the world of Jazz music.
Christophe Del Sasso also wrote a unique and exclusive
given at Château Palmer, a piece which retraces
the history of the property.

200 years of Château Palmer history
interpreted by Dal Sasso Big Band

Château Palmer, March 27, 2015

The 2014 vintage interpreted by
the Dal Sasso Big Band

Château Palmer, March 27, 2015


2014 Vintage

Interpreted by
Dal Sasso Big band


2013, a terroir vintage

As the silence reigned in the dormant vineyard, the notes we heard
were those, more monotone, of the rain falling on the roof of the château
and the hamlet’s buildings.
In town, people were singing the blues and it could have been the same
in the vineyard if… if we didn’t have a “band” of courageous vignerons
dedicated to the vineyard. Under the direction of Thomas Duroux,
the “Palmer ensemble” was on high alert for the threat of coulure and mildew.
Fortunately, our gravelly terroir lived up to its reputation and provided
excellent drainage for the soil. Bordeaux’s climate worked its own magic:
warm, beautiful days punctuated the unpredictable spring.
July – whew! Everyone was singing the same song: Sun at last!
Even the vines were humming a happy tune. Finally this superb month of
July made the vintage, proving wrong the old French saying of
“août fait le goût”.
We had planned to harvest in early October when nature imposed yet
another change in rhythm. In mid-September the rain returned. It was a race
against the clock to harvest the grapes before any alterations began.
Harvest began on September 27, what swing!
To respect the hard-won ripeness of our grapes, we proceeded carefully
in the winery. Finally the artists were ready to take the stage.
Only two composed Château Palmer: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
For Alter Ego, a trio was formed with the addition of Petit Verdot.
What vibrations for 2013? The wines are light and tender like a Smooth
Jazz melody…

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Daniel Humair

The leader on percussion

A percussionist of Swiss origin. He is one of the most important
and distinguished in Europe.  A left-handed drummer,
he composes and improvises easily, cultivating his elegant
and powerful style.

Danilo Rea

Elegance on the piano

An Italian pianist. He charms with his unique personality.
An improviser with a pronounced melodic sensibility,
he is certainly the pianist who has influenced the Italian
Jazz scene the most over the past decade.

Jérôme Regard

An eclectic bass player

Both a double bass player and bass guitarist,
Jerome Regard is a valued and sought-after sideman. 
In concert or in recordings, his bass has resonated
in different musical groups.

Emile Parisien

An expressionist on the saxophone

Born of Cahors terroir, his style is a very personal
and resolutely modern expression of Jazz,
where improvisation prevails.

The 2013 vintage interpreted by
the Daniel Humair Quartet

Château Palmer, March 28, 2014

The 2013 vintage interpreted by
the Daniel Humair Quartet

Château Palmer, March 28, 2014

2012, a score in three movements

A spring with a bluesy tune… facing abundant rainfall
and persistent coolness, the vine takes its time to show
its first buds – and we understand. All the better to avoid
the threat of diseases favored by the ambient humidity.

Thankfully the tempo radically changes at the end of July;
the summer is groovy! Sunshine, heat and even a little
drought finally give the vintage its chance. Late it is,
late it remains.
Veraison begins only at the end of July. In August the vine
has resolutely set to work. All its energy is concentrated
on one mission: developing berries with the most beautiful
set of notes. The atmosphere relaxes in the Château:
we breathe and play again with pleasure.

The rhythm changes again in autumn. The humidity has returned
and harvest beats to the tune of a different drum.
Thomas Duroux, our bandleader, sets the note and the group
harmonizes: the entire harvest is picked in 15 consecutive days,
unfortunately a low yield of only 28hl/ha, but thankfully sound.

The swing of the year is an unexpected balance, surprising.
The range combines exuberant and rich Merlot with linear and
precise Cabernet Sauvignon. This 2012 enters the Palmer playbook
as a new interpretation of the smoothness and elegance of our wines.
Alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health. Please consume and enjoy with moderation.

Lionel Belmondo

Prince of saxophone

A love of jazz has animated Lionel Belmondo since his childhood
in Provence. Trained alongside his brother by their father,
then director of the Souliès-Toucas music school, Lionel shows
himself to have an aptitude for precision, passion and incessant
creativity. Adopting the soprano saxophone, Lionel forms
the Quintet Belmondo with his brother and records their first
album in 1993. Lionel Belmondo never stops. Will he set down
his sax to taste Palmer?

Sylvain Romano

Bassist in good company

This bassist from Marseille has all the diplomas and
medals needed, for both classical and jazz double bass,
from the Marseille Conservatory to the Ateliers de jazz
at the Cité de la Musique, which give him complete liberty
to play the jazz that he loves, with great people.
The Belmondo brothers include him in most of their numerous
and various projects.

Jean-Pierre Arnaud

Powerful drummer

Jean-Pierre Arnaud studied classical percussion at the Marseille
Conservatory between 1977 and 1980. His father's jazz club
becomes his own personal classroom where he comes in contact
with all the greats, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, Art Blakey …
A jazzman’s dream. With the Belmondo brothers, he records
Belmondo Quintet and For all friends.

The 2012 vintage interpreted by
L. Belmondo, S. Romano et J.P. Arnaud

Château Palmer, April 5, 2013

The 2012 vintage interpreted by
L. Belmondo, S. Romano
et J.P. Arnaud

Château Palmer, le 5 avril 2013

Download tracks from the 2012 vintage

Palmer Suite

Interpreted by L. Belmondo, S. Romano et J.P. Arnaud


Palmer Suite
La Chevalière

Interpreted by L. Belmondo, S. Romano et J.P. Arnaud


The smallest yield since the legendary 1961

The 2011 vintage by Château Palmer

It took all the talent of our winemakers to create harmony
despite disconcerting – not to say discordant – weather...
The growing season started off with an exceptionally hot
and dry spring that seemed like an early summer.
Bud break and flowering took place with an enormous head-start.
June weather led to a great deal off worry: a hail storm and a short,
but intense heat wave led to significant crop loss.
This very mixed weather nevertheless provided the necessary
water to the vines. And there was a beautiful Indian summer
during the harvest.
After two years that combined quality and quantity, 2011 produced
very small yields, comparable to 1961.
Over the past few months, the task of creating the wines has
taken place behind the scenes, putting to music the notes
that Nature has given us, the unique tones and harmonies that
She has created. Listening to our vines and to our terroir,
we have composed the blend of this new vintage.
Like so many different instruments, they create a nervous melody,
tense and complex. 2011 returns to a more classical rhythm.
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Giovanni Mirabassi

The free spirit of the piano

Giovanni Mirabassi started to play the piano at the age of two, at his parents' house in Perugia. “But I only took my first five first lessons at the age of sixteen, and my last five at the age of twenty-two”. Giovanni Mirabassi is a free spirit always ready to discover even the most esoteric aspects of jazz - and with what brilliance, what sparkle, what self-sacrifice, what liberty!

Flavio Boltro

A gifted trumpetist

Flavio Boltro. His instrument? The trumpet. This discreet and gifted musician is brilliant and voluble. He is one of the most influential soloists in Europe. His outstanding techniques and mastery of harmony are as expressive when he is a leader as when he is a sideman. He composes original music that is always energetic and displays multiple influences.

Glenn Ferris

Trombone Attitude

Glenn Ferris has been an iconic trombone player since the 1960s. Brought up in Hollywood in a family of musicians, he attended a concert of the Los Angeles Philarmonic and fell in love with the trombone. He has proved to be a brilliant performer on this instrument during a long career during which he played alongside the masters: Don Ellis, Frank Zappa, and his legendary Grand Wazoo Big Band.
Official websites of the artists : -

The 2011 vintage interpreted by
G. Mirabassi, F. Boltro et G. Ferris,

Château Palmer, Mars 23, 2012

The 2011 vintage interpreted by
G. Mirabassi, F. Boltro et G. Ferris

Château Palmer, Mars 23, 2012

Download tracks from the 2011 vintage


G. Mirabassi, F. Boltro et G. Ferris interprets Palmer 2011


Alter Ego

G. Mirabassi, F. Boltro et G. Ferris interprets Alter Ego 2011


A vintage with an extremely
solid foundation

The 2010 vintage by Château Palmer

After 1982 and 1983, 1989 and 1990, 1995 and 1996, 2009 and 2010
were great back-to-back vintages! What a delightful challenge to taste
them and try to decide which is better… Of course, there will always
be people who will champion one over the other!

Thanks to the beautiful weather throughout the growing season –
except for a few incidents in June – especially at the height of
summer, the marvellous potential of the 2010 vintage is more
obvious with each passing month. The water stress led to a
concentration of phenolic compounds greater than in 2009.
Furthermore, excellent acidity added a very welcome counterpoint,
giving the 2010 vintage much appreciated freshness and confirming
its ageing potential.
Thanks to ideal weather during the harvest, we could take our time,
picking in adagio mode to let the grapes reach optimum ripeness.

Epitomising the Palmer style, the 2010 vintage plays the same
refrain as the 2009: power, concentration, and balance – soft-pedalled,
under control, well-tamed power, accompanied by a delicate side
that is sure to blossom over time.
Alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health. Please consume and enjoy with moderation.

Michel Portal

The Music man

It would be incorrect to describe clarinettist Michel Portal
as a jazzman: he is a "music man". If he has won all
the prizes and is famous worldwide, it is because
he is a magnificent musician, inspired and expressive.
He excels in every style: as a classical soloist or in a
chamber orchestra; as a key figure in contemporary music;
and in jazz, where he plays with the greats.
He is also always keen on new experiences, provided
they are very high-level.

Yaron Herman

A dazzling carreer

He was relatively unknown just 5 years ago, but today
he is considered one of the best pianists in the new generation,
acclaimed by both audiences and the media, not only in Europe,
but also in Asia and the United States. The rapid success of
his career has confirmed that he is certainly an amazing,
unique phenomenon in the history of the piano.
Official websites of the artists : -

The 2010 vintage interpreted by
Michel Portal and Yaron Herman

Château Palmer, March 25, 2011

The 2010 vintage interpreted by Michel Portal and Yaron Herman

Château Palmer, March 25, 2011

Download tracks from the 2010 vintage


Michel Portal interprets Palmer 2010


Alter Ego

Yaron Herman interprets Alter Ego 2010


Power and sensuality

The 2009 vintage by Château Palmer

In 2009, nature played the music with panache!
And there were no – or hardly any - false notes from the weather…
Flowering, véraison (colour change) and ripening all happened
so perfectly that, with each passing month, what had been
only a hope in spring was transformed into a wonderful certainty
by autumn. Nature had given birth to a masterpiece. It was up
to the winemaking team to make the most of it.
The tempo picked up at the equinox in September and it was
soon time to start picking during a beautiful Indian Summer.
The first notes were heard from the Merlot grapes.
These were in excellent condition, ripe, and concentrated.
They defined the theme to which Cabernet Sauvignon and
then Petit Verdot added harmonious chords.

If 2009 were a jazz concert, one would say that it had achieved
swing rythme – that mysterious and fascinating moment of grace
or inspiration that imbues musicians with the urge to create a
brilliant improvisation.
This vintage proved to be a legend from the very first tasting.
Deep, intense, and complex, its music pulsates with power and
sensuality. It has a great future ahead of it - there can be no
doubt that 2009 has great ageing potential.
Alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health. Please consume and enjoy with moderation.

Jacky Terrasson

The pianist of happiness

Born in 1965 in Berlin to a French father and an American mother,
and discovered in France alongside Barney Wilen in the 1980s,
pianist Jacky Terasson's reputation grew when he went to
New York in 1990 and made a name for himself on the
American music scene. At that time he accompanied the famous
Betty Carter, among other singers. However, it was the trio
he formed with bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker
that revealed him as a rising star of piano jazz, to which he gave
a very percussive slant, full of dynamic contrasts, comparable
to his elder, Ahmad Jamal.

Since his sensational arrival on the jazz scene in 1993 with
the prestigious Thelonious Monk prize, the extraordinary pianist
Jacky Terrasson has always recorded complex, refined music
with a remarkable freedom of spirit.

All of Jacky Terrasson's discs have followed a certain logic
and each new release was always announced on the
previous disc, revealing this musician's extraordinary
consistency and mastery!
Official website of the artist :

The 2009 vintage interpreted by
Jacky Terrasson

Château Palmer, March 23, 2010

The 2009 vintage, interpreted
by Jacky Terrasson

interpreted by Jacky Terrasson Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, May 25, 2012

The 2009 vintage, interpreted by Jacky Terrasson

Château Palmer, March 23, 2010

Download tracks from the 2009 vintage


Jacky terrasson interprets Palmer 2009


Alter Ego

Jacky terrasson interprets Alter Ego 2009