The meaning of Petrus
The name Petrus comes from the Latin word 'petra' which means 'rock'. The vineyard where the wine is produced is located on a plateau in the Pomerol region of Bordeaux, France, which is characterised by its stony soil. It is made exclusively from Merlot grapes grown on a small 11.4 hectare vineyard owned by the Moueix family.
Petrus is considered to be one of the greatest and most expensive wines in the world, known for its rich, full-bodied flavour profile with notes of dark fruit, truffle, leather and spice. It is aged for several years in oak barrels, which gives it a complex and refined taste.
What makes the terroir of Petrus so unique?
The clay soils of Petrus is at least 40 million years old to start. The thick gravel on the surrounding plateau is only 1 million years old. There are two layers of clay at Petrus. The topsoil of dark clay is 60 to 80 centimetres thick. But it's the unique subsoil that is not found in any other vineyard. This soil is packed with very dense, deep, dark blue clay.
When this type of clay absorbs water, it becomes impermeable. The water molecules are able to penetrate the interlayer molecular spaces of the clay. When the dry summer months arrive, the vines are still able to feed on the much needed moisture.
Most of the patch of blue clay on the Pomerol plateau is about 15 hectares in total. Petrus is unique as its entire 11.5 vineyard is right on top of the clay.