2015 Petrus

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Average critic rating : 97.42 points



The 2015 Pétrus is dark, brooding and also fiercely tannic, which sets it apart from most Pomerols of the year stylistically. Vertical in feel, the 2015 possesses terrific energy and cut to balance the dark, super-ripe fruit. Winemaker Oliver Berrouet adds that the berries were considerable smaller (about 30%) than normal, which resulted in high skin-to-juice ratios consequently musts with high levels of tannin. The 2015 is a vertical, brooding Pétrus that shows little of the early appeal of so many other wines. Readers will have to be especially patient. Apr 2016, www.Vinous.com



The 2015 Petrus is, of course, 100% Merlot picked between September 15-29 , although the secateurs were only used on six of those days with a majority coming toward the end of that period. Olivier Berrouet told me that it will be matured in 50% new oak. It has an extremely precise, controlled bouquet with crystalline red and black fruit. This is not a powerful or intense bouquet, but beguilingly pretty. It is crystalline and I detected more mineralité than in recent vintages, perhaps because there is less puppy fat. The palate is beautifully balanced, completely harmonious, underpinned by filigree tannin that assert a sense of focus and linearity until two-thirds of the way along, whereupon it fans out while maintaining breathtaking clarity. Touches of cracked black pepper and spice lend this Petrus personality and intrigue. Having tasted most legendary Petrus since the 1940s, and tasted here from barrel since 2002, I can only apologize for being so predictable by claiming that this may well nestle among the likes of the Petrus 1950, 1964, 1989 and 1998. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2025-2060



A wine that makes me dream and touches my soul. Such amazing purity and density yet the tannins and acidity are in perfect balance. The freshness and quality tannins is second to none. It’s a redefinition of some of the great Petrus such as 1971 and 1961 that didn’t have the precision or clarity of today. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com



Picked 15-29 September. Long period for such a small property! pH 3.7. Not the deepest crimson of the lot. Exotic, super-charming nose. And lovely freshness on the palate. Almost Cabernet Franc-like (very ripe Cabernet Franc)! Hint of decongestant medicine! Something sweet and peppery. Not too big, but super-opulent. Great charm and intensity on the palate. Quite difficult to see the tannins; they emerge only at the end. You shouldn't need to wait too long for this. Wonderful persistence. The most beautiful ink you will ever encounter. Lots of energy. 14.6%. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2025-2045



The best yet from winemaker Olivier Berrouet (first vintage 2008). 30% of the crop was declassified. Lots of lift and energy. Lively aromatic expression with floral, dark fruit and liquorice notes. Palate ripe, juicy and refreshing, the texture smooth and polished. Structured attack and then great depth and persistence. Powerful but with charm. Apr 2016, James Lawther MW, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2025-2050



A stunning wine from the ever-youthful Olivier Berrouet and his team, which may well get 100 points from me on release in bottle. Who needs Cabernet Franc for added freshness in 2015 when you have a terroir and winemaking as good as this? Pure, subtle and refined, this has more tannin and backbone than you think. It’s just that the fruit is so seductive you don’t notice it. A wine that justifies some of the hype about the vintage. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2025-2040

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 07/07/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Petrus 2015
-£7,108.00     (-24.43%) Latest price:  £21,988.00
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Petrus: The Importance

Robert Parker describes Château Pétrus as “the undisputed king of Pomerol and probably the most famous red wine in the world”. He goes on to say that “there have been few Bordeaux wines that match this property for its extraordinary combination of power, richness, complexity and elegance.” At time of writing Pétrus has received nine perfect 100 points scores from Wine Advocate, four perfect 100 points from James Suckling, four perfect 20 points from Jancis Robinson, and no doubt many more to come.


Made in tiny volumes of around 3-4,000 cases per year, it is one of the world’s rarest and most expensive wines. Jeff Leve suggests that due to its scarcity “the majority of the price increases take place in the secondary marketplace”, resulting in it frequently selling for what Robert Parker describes as “a king’s ransom”. But this does nothing to dissuade connoisseurs because, as Neal Martin puts it, Pétrus “remains the vinous Holy Grail… There is a palpable sense of occasion when that unmistakable label with its bold vermillion lettering graces the table: an epiphany you will remember.”


In short this wine is the pinnacle of what can be achieved with Merlot, it has risen rapidly out of relative obscurity in the 1960s to become the almost ubiquitously present on the bucket lists of fine wine connoisseurs and critics. And it has achieved this based on its outstanding quality, as Neal Martin puts it: “…it is a damn delicious wine. Sounds obvious, but there are many iconic wines that are more impressive than actually delicious to drink. Château Pétrus is nothing more than one of the most satisfying, most profound wines that tastes as good at the end of the bottle as at the beginning.”


Petrus: The Insight

Neal Martin calls Pétrus: “an iconic wine familiar to many, tasted by few”, for those who haven’t been lucky enough to try it yet, he says: “Pétrus is a classically trained wine whose trademark is balance, poise, texture, complexity and longevity.”


But what makes it so special? One major factor is its unique terroir; it sits on a small 'button' of blueish clay in the Pomerol plateau. The rare smectite clay subsoil is 40 million years old, while the more gravelly soils that surround it are only around 1 million years old. Combined with low yields (Pétrus have been crop thinning since 1973) and perfectionist picking/sorting (grapes are harvested in one afternoon to avoid dew diluting the juice and berries are reputedly picked one at a time), the old vines on this terroir produce a richness that most Merlots cannot touch.


Château Pétrus of course deserves its fame. But few would argue against the instrumental influence of one couple and one man in pushing it alongside and then past the First Growths. Jackie and John F Kennedy – a style icon and a president – announced that that they were partial to Pétrus, which piqued a global interest in the brand. Momentum was continued in the 1980s by the frequent acclaim and high scores of a rising star critic in one Robert Parker. Petrus’ celebrity helped to drive up the quality of Pomerol as an appellation, and arguably Bordeaux as a whole.


Petrus: The Background

Pétrus is Latin for Peter, who guards the entrance to heaven, which seems strangely fitting for such a wine that is often cited as being otherworldly. Its history can be dated back to the 1750s, making it probably one of Pomerol’s earliest vineyards. Originally thought to have been part of Château Gazin, its worldwide fame didn’t explode until it came under the ownership of Jean-Pierre Moueix. He was a négociant who managed and distributed wines from a series of famous properties, including Trotanoy. He started doing the same for Pétrus and eventually ended up taking control in the mid-1960s.


Jean-Pierre Moueix shrewdly brought in Jean-Claude Berrouet, although a relative unknown entity in the winemaking world at the time, his first vintage in 1964 has been described as “immortal” by Neal Martin and “spectacular” by Robert Parker. When Jean-Claude Berrouet retired he passed the mantle to his son Olivier Berrouet, formerly of Cheval Blanc. Jean-Pierre Moueix similarly passed the running of Pétrus to his sons Jean-François (who, in one of Pomerol’s greatest investments, bought 5 exceptional hectares from Gazin) and Christian (Decanter’s Man of the Year 2008 and owner of Dominus). Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix now own La Fleur Pétrus, Hosanna, Trotanoy, Lagrange, La Grave, Magdelaine and Bélair-Monange to name just a few.


Pétrus’ 11.5 hectares of old vines, averaging around 40 years of age but some significantly older, are now entirely made up of Merlot. As there is no second wine at Pétrus, where the declassified juice ends up is one of the wine world’s great mysteries.

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