Nestled in the heart of the Pomerol appellation on Bordeaux's Right Bank, lies the world-renowned vinous gem - Château Pétrus. Known for producing some of the world's most sought-after and prestigious wines, this estate has a storied history and a reputation for crafting exceptional Merlot-dominant blends. Heritage, exquisite terroir, a traditional winemaking philosophy and a highly qualified team all work together to produce this globally iconic wine.
Throughout The Ages
Château Petrus, known for producing the most expensive and prestigious wines in Bordeaux, had in contrary a more modest beginning that traces back to the mid-1750s. The vineyard is situated in Pomerol on the hill of Petrus, and its name has historical significance dating back to Roman times when a property owner named Petrus resided there. The logo is inspired by the Greek version of St. Peter, "Petros."
The Arnaud family owned Petrus from 1770, and by the late 1800s, it gained recognition as one of Pomerol's top wines, following the phylloxera epidemic. In 1917, M. Sabin-Douarre became the owner, and in 1929, Madame Loubat acquired sole ownership. The collaboration between Madame Loubat and Jean-Pierre Moueix in the 1940s elevated Petrus's status.
After Madame Loubat's passing in 1961, her nephew, M. Lignac, and niece, Mme Lily Lacoste, inherited Petrus. Jean-Pierre Moueix continued to play a crucial role, and in 1964, he acquired M. Lignac's share. Jean-François Moueix, Jean-Pierre's son, took over in 1969, and the association with Chateau Gazin strengthened with the purchase of additional vineyards.
The Modern Age of Petrus
The 1982 vintage marked a turning point for Petrus, coinciding with the rise of wine critic Robert Parker. Petrus became globally renowned, and its prices surged. President John F. Kennedy's endorsement further boosted its reputation in America.
Jean-Francois Moueix and his children took ownership after Jean-Pierre Moueix's passing in 2003. In 2008, Olivier Berrouet succeeded his father as the winemaker. The vineyard underwent renovation in 2005.
Petrus changed its distribution model in 2014, selling to select negociants in addition to Ets. Moueix. A 20% share was sold to Colombian investor Alejandro Santo Domingo in 2016, valuing Petrus close to 1.5 billion dollars.
The “Stunning” Wines
RP 100 "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.” LPB for WA Nov. 2018
WS98 “Extraordinary nose of berry, chocolate and flowers. Amazing, jaw-dropping quality. Full-bodied, with supersilky, seductive tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Out of this world. Best after 2014. 2,000 cases made." JS for WS Mar. 2006 for 2003 Petrus, Pomerol
Petrus is renowned for its unique style, offering aromas of spice, coffee, cinnamon, chocolate, and dark fruits. In the best vintages, the wine exhibits an otherworldly texture with richness, viscosity, and a silk-and-velvet feel. Despite being 100% Merlot, Petrus is exceptionally long-lived, demanding 20-30 years to fully mature.
Château Pétrus has produced a string of iconic vintages that have become legendary in the world of wine. Vintages like 1945, 1961, and 1982 are celebrated for their exceptional quality, rarity, and the unique character that only Pétrus can deliver. These wines have become highly sought-after by collectors and connoisseurs, commanding premium prices at auctions and establishing Château Pétrus as a symbol of excellence.
Vineyards & Terroir
Pétrus's 11.5-hectare vineyard is planted exclusively with Merlot, showcasing a unique terroir with 40-million-year-old blue clay. The clay soils of Pétrus are remarkably aged, dating back at least 40 million years. In contrast, the thick gravel on the surrounding plateau is a mere 1 million years old. Pétrus features two layers of clay, with a topsoil of dark clay measuring 60 to 80 centimeters in thickness.
However, it's the distinctive subsoil that distinguishes Pétrus from any other vineyard. This subsoil is densely packed with deep, dark, and uniquely blue clay. The clay is so robust that roots find it challenging to penetrate. Consequently, the vines adapt by growing horizontally to seek nutrients, with roots not extending beyond 60 to 80 centimeters. This particular clay is identified as smectite.
An Icon of Quality
In the realm of fine wine, Château Pétrus stands as an icon of quality and craftsmanship. From its historic beginnings to its commitment to preserving the essence of its terroir, Pétrus continues to captivate the palates of wine enthusiasts around the world. Whether enjoyed in its youth or allowed to evolve over decades, a bottle of Château Pétrus is not just a wine; it's an experience that encapsulates the art and passion of winemaking.