Château Petrus Château Petrus
October 15, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2015 Petrus is undoubtedly one of the gems in the vintage and will probably merit a perfect score in another decade. Even so, it has the sexy, exotic nature of the vintage front and center and offers a huge perfume of black currants, kirsch liqueur, Asian spices, and incense. As always, this beauty is 100% Merlot that was brought up in 50% new wood in 2015. A wine that opens up beautifully with time in the glass, it has beautiful mid-palate depth, sweet, sweet tannins, and voluptuous yet weightless texture that needs to be tasted to be believed. Hide bottles for 4-5 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 3-4 decades.”
September 2018, Neal Martin
“The 2015 Petrus is all set to be one of the greatest wines that Olivier Berrouet has ever conjured. It is slightly deeper in colour than recent vintages, but refulgent in the glass. Whilst the aromatics are not the most immediate, patience reveals a scintillating bouquet that errs towards black than red fruit, crushed stone and pressed iris flowers, all with exquisite detail and focus. The palate is incredibly well balanced, initially a little angular but “finding its rhythm” with aeration. Of course, it is just a baby and there is a bit of puppy fat on the finish, but that does not disguise the impressive depth and awesome length, a tiny saline residue lingering on the finish. Will it ultimately be worthy of a perfect score like the 1989 or 1998? It is not beyond the realms of possibility. Sensational. Tasted in Bordeaux.”
March 31, 2018, James Molesworth
“Reserved right now, but there is a well of blackberry, boysenberry and plum coulis flavors in reserve here, infused with black tea, anise and singed spice elements. Remarkably silky, elegant and extremely long, this unfurls ever so slowly in the glass, beguiling with texture and fruit purity. Best from 2022 through 2042. 2,500 cases made.”
The Wine Advocate
February 21, 2018, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Petrus (bottled in mid-July 2017) opens in its own time to reveal crushed black cherries, warm plums, mulberries and cedar chest suggestions with touches of anise, lavender, beef drippings and wild thyme plus a waft of crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with generous, exuberant, wonderfully layered red, black and perfumed blue fruits contrasted beautifully by very ripe, very fine-grained and very firm tannins plus an ethereal line of seamless acid, finishing long and minerally. Olivier Berrouet and his team have knocked it out of the park in 2015. Look for this Pétrus to build and unfold over the next 20 years and confidently cellar this legend for 40+ years.”
November 30, 2017, Jane Anson
“There is so much going on with Petrus in 2015 that you should just pull up a chair and relax, don't expect to be going anywhere soon. Aromatic persistency keeps reaching in, pulling you further alongside. There is a soft quality to the tannins that allows the black fruit to be both juicy and sweet. High alcohol is balanced by freshness - a pH of 3.5 is relatively rare on these sticky clay soils - unleashing waves of flavour, including bergamot, smoky tea, black olives and rich cherry. The persistency is crazy - I had to get my notes back out two or three times to take down additional flavours because it just kept giving something more. And it makes you smile! What more do you want? Bottled in June, but will not be sent out to customers until April 2018. 50% new oak.”
Little known 50 years ago, this château has seen the rise of a myth about the uniqueness of its wine. The wine’s inimitability is due to many factors including an exceptional terroir. The vineyard is 40 meters above sea level, the highest point of the appellation, and has a layer of heavy clay soil and an iron subsoil. These are ideal conditions for the expression of the Merlot grape. With such a special terroir, the approach in the vineyard and cellar is traditional and respectful.
The estate was among the first in Bordeaux to implement green-harvesting as a way to lower crop yields and raise the quality of the remaining grapes. The yield is among the lowest in Bordeaux partly through green-harvesting to concentrate the power and quality of the remaining crop (eliminating up to 50% of the crop in certain years).
The clay soils of Pétrus are at least 40 million years old. The thick gravel on the surrounding plateau is only 1 million years old. There are two layers of clay at Pétrus; the topsoil of dark clay is 60 to 80 centimeters thick. But it's the unique subsoil that is not found in any other vineyard. The soil is packed with very, dense, deep, dark blue clay. The clay is so hard, that the roots cannot penetrate. The clay is smectite. When this type of clay absorbs water, it becomes impermeable.
The grapes are picked by hand, de-stemmed, and then sorted. A gentle crush before vinication in concrete vats is followed by maceration, which typically lasts 15 to 21 days. After maceration, the juice heads to another vat for malolactic fermentation. Following fermentation, each vat is tasted and the qualifying juices are blended together before the wine is aged in French oak barrels, of which 50% are new (and filled with water prior to the wine to get rid of aggressive tannins). Once in barrel, the wines are racked every three months. The length of aging varies depending on the vintage. Prior to bottling, the wines are fined and filtered.
Pétrus displays an intense color, a rich and complex nose and an opulent fruit. In great vintages, the wine can easily be kept 25 years or more.
Varietals: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc