Château Petrus Château Petrus
March 31, 2019, James Molesworth
“There are both lush and structured elements working here, with velvety cassis, raspberry puree and plum compote notes intertwined with tobacco, alder and cocoa accents. This pulls together steadily through the finish, showing superb focus and a tight-grained feel, while fresh acidity imparts rippling energy. The raspberry note hangs longest through the finish. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
February 4, 2019, James Suckling
“This is very fleshy and deep with so much texture and richness. It’s full-bodied yet fresh. The tobacco, white truffle, licorice and dark fruit are so impressive. It’s so exuberant and wild. It just goes on for ever. Spellbinding. Very muscular and powerful. Agile and energetic. Please give this time. Needs eight to ten years. Try from 2029.”
January 1, 2019, Antonio Galloni
“The 2016 Pétrus is magnificent. There is a sense of total completeness in the 2016 that is hard to capture with words. A regal wine of total presence, the 2016 simply has it all. Beautifully layered in the glass, with stunning aromatics and endless, layered fruit, the 2016 is utterly captivating. Once again I am struck by the wine's purity and total class. Technical Director Olivier Berrout and his team turned out a magnificent Pétrus in 2016. Total time in barrel was 19 months, with 50% new oak.”
The Wine Advocate
November 30, 2018, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“Opaque purple-black colored, the 2016 Petrus slips effortlessly out of the glass with sanguine, seductive notes of kirsch, warm black plums, blueberry compote, red roses, Ceylon tea, violets, dark chocolate-covered cherries, licorice and cinnamon stick with wafts of iron ore, pencil lead, unsmoked cigars and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, profound and absolutely edifying on the palate, the densely packed, beautifully perfumed red and blue fruit layers possess a charge like defibrillators stimulating your heart to beat faster, each delivering achingly subtle floral and spice sparks, perfectly framed by very firm, very grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with incredible length and taking you to depths that extend to a provocative ferrous undercurrent. Stunning.”
October 11, 2018, Jane Anson
“Bottled in mid-August, this is already taking on the most amazing slow creep of well-defined, crisp violet, cassis, tight black fruits and fig notes; floral and fresh yet complex and ripe. It's balanced by the most gorgeous burst of mint and slate, all stretching out slowly, delicately, gently. It's more architectural than the monumental 2015, but no less impressive, beginning to really settle and take its time to gather its forces, to layer itself up. A pure, precise style, it holds your attention for many many minutes after the wine has gone, both aromatically and intellectually. The overall impression is simply of pleasure. 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.
Aging Potential: 25+ years