The "other" wine made by Ch. Palmer, first made 1998 the grapes come from different plots than those of Ch. Palmer and with a different blend Alter Ego is produced (and marketed) as very much it's own thing alongside Ch. Palmer. Generally the Alter Ego has slightly more Merlot than "normal Palmer, but the 2020 vintage is actually the other way round, with this being the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated version.
"Chocolate shavings and smoked coffee bean on the nose, it's a vintage where you can't get away from the tannins, but here they have sinew and juice, like the best translation of the tannins in the year. This has real purity of fruit (very low SO2 addition at Palmer), together with the gourmet touch that you want in Alter Ego. 45% of overall production. 3.73pH. Survived mildew better than in 2018 because of experience in dealing with the conditions. August 15 to 29 for the harvest. A yield of 31hl/ha." Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)
Citronella and lemongrass aromatics envelop more subtle primary fruit that include peach skin and naartjie peel. Then also hints of vanilla, baked apple, marzipan and honey. The palate possesses verve and savoury grip, with elements of crushed river pebble, rock salt and flint, but also a grainy, pithy textural element akin to walnut and hard pear. There is real weight and mouth-filling substance, even at 12,5% ABV with complexity gained from lees contact and completely integrated oak. Bone dry, savoury finish.