Something about Chateau Petrus
Pétrus, one of the world`s rarest and most expensive wines was virtually unheard of 30 years ago. It was only when the Moueix family bought a half share in the property in 1962 that its true potential began to be fully realised. Pétrus is now under the direction of Christian Moueix and oenologist, Jean Claude Berrouet.
The 11.4 hectare vineyard is located on a plateau on the highest part of Pomerol in the far east of the appellation. The topsoil and the subsoil at Pétrus is almost all clay (in neigbouring properties the soil is a mixture of gravel-sand or clay-sand) and Merlot flourishes in this soil. Pétrus’ vineyard is planted with 95% Merlot.
The vines are unusually old and are only replanted after they reach 70 years of age. The grapes are hand harvested only in the afternoon, when the morning dew has evaporated, so as not to risk even the slightest dilution of quality. The grapes are fermented in cement vats and the wine is aged in 100% new oak barrels for 22-31 months. It is bottled unfiltered.
Pétrus is extraordinarily rich, powerful and concentrated, often with characteristics of chocolates, truffles, Asian spices and ultra-ripe, creamy, black fruits. Petrus is usually approachable after a decade or so in bottle, but the wines from the very greatest years will continue improving for many more years.
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The 2001 Petrus has always been winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet’s favourite vintages. It has developed a truly exquisite bouquet that is both svelte and sensual without any sense of being overbearing. It is almost unaware of its beauty. It gradually opens with tinctures of dried blood merging with ebullient and disarmingly pure red fruit with brilliant delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly grainy tannin, quite forceful red fruit gripping the senses and then letting go, allowing a subtle savory/cooked meat note to flourish towards the finish. Maybe this bottle was a touch more foursquare than previous ones that I have encountered although that will melt away with time. Tasted at the Petrus dinner at the Épure restaurant in Hong Kong. Drink 2018-2051.
Glowing with health. Slightly bretty on the nose. Loose and unfocused. Not too pushed and rather fun but the tannins are a little metallic underneath. Dry finish.
We finished the Bordeaux flight with the 2001 Petrus, which was much softer and more evolved than the 2000 Petrus. The 2001 revealed lots of caramel, coffee, black plums and black cherries in a full-bodied, opulent, surprisingly approachable style.