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The story of Petrus


We have been extremely fortunate to be offered a tiny share of this iconic wine en primeur over the past couple of decades. But what gives this wine its legendary status? And what makes it probably the most sought-after wine on the planet?

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Where is Petrus situated?

The 11.5-hectare vineyard of Petrus is located on a plateau in the eastern portion of Pomerol; 100% is planted with Merlot grapes. The soil consists of a high percentage of iron-rich clay.

 

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 centimeters 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.

The majority 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.

 

The people behind the legend

Jean-Francois Moueix and his children - including Jean Moueix who took the full operational lead at the Estate in 2009 - are the owners of Petrus today. Olivier Berrouet has been Petrus’ winemaker since the 2009 vintage and came after his father whose first vintage was 1964.

The grapes are hand-harvested. The vinification is very gentle and takes place in cement vats. The wine is aged in 50% new French oak for 12 to 18 months.

Petrus 2020


Petrus 2020 : Challenging weather with very wet spring and dry summer with no rain from mid-June through mid-August which creates a very favorable hydric constraint. The picking was done between September 5th and 18th under perfect conditions.

The nose is very expressive. It reveals crushed red and black berries with hints of flowers like violet and iris. The wines are structured with very qualitative tannins, silky and smooth, full of aromas, complex and harmonious. Very long tasting with a lot of freshness.

In the end, we have an extremely balanced wine, very structured with silky tannins. We are more in the vein of the smooth 2016 than the massive, more tannic 2019 says a confident Olivier Berrouet.

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