Ask any wine-lover to name the world’s greatest fine wines, and the answer will invariably include Pétrus.

About Petrus

About the producer

Incredibly revered and with a price tag to match, this illustrious producer is regarded by many to represent the pinnacle of what can be achieved with the Merlot varietal, or with any varietal for that matter.

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.

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 one 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. 

Once picked the grapes are optically sorted as well as hand sorted and intra-plot fermented in 12 different sized concrete vats that fit the 12 different identified plots within the vineyard. On average Pétrus use 50% new oak barrels in their maturation, the rest matured in older barrels. In top vintages the wine doesn’t really kick into its top gear until around 30 to 40 years of age and should be first approached with at least 15 years of age. The pristine condition, the freshness, the energy and plush textural richness of wines in their 30th, 40th and 50th years is truly mind-blowing.

The 1971, the 1961 and the 1959 are truly exceptional. The volume and depth on the mid-palate of these wines are phenomenal with the combination of exotic aged fragrances and spice that remain beautifully preserved while at the same time exuding an impossible freshness is difficult to fathom.

The architecture of the wines are built in a mille-feuille-like structure that both teems with power and yet retains a paradoxical finesse. These are Pétrus in full regalia, spreading their wings and strutting their stuff. 


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