Chateau Petrus

Review of the Estate

Chateau Petrus is a Bordeaux wine estate located in the Pomerol appellation near its eastern border to Saint-Émilion. An estate of limited size, it produces a limited production red wine almost entirely from Merlot grapes, on occasion with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, and produces no second wine. Chateau Petrus belongs to the family of the Libourne wine merchant JP Moueix.

Although the wines of Pomerol have never been classified, Chateau Petrus is widely regarded as the outstanding wine of the appellation by consensus, and leads a duo of Pomerol estates of extreme prices, along with Le Pin, that in the modern era are consistently among the world's most expensive wines.

Originally a 7-hectare (17 acres) vineyard,Chateau Petrus was owned by the Arnaud family since the middle of the 18th Century, and the name first appears in records from 1837. In the 1868 edition of Cocks & Féret, under listing Crus bourgeois et 1ers artisansChateau Petrus was ranked behind Vieux Chateau Certan and alongside Chateau Trotanoy. Some vintages of this period were labelled Petrus-Arnaud. At the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878, Pétrus won a gold medal, at a time when such an event had great consequence, establishing a selling price at the level of a Médoc second growth, the first wine of Pomerol to do so.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Arnaud family founded La Société Civile du Chateau Petrus, which offered shares in the company to the public. Around 1925, the owner of the Hôtel Loubat in Libourne, the widow Mme. Edmond Loubat, began to buy shares in Chateau Petrus and continued the acquisition progressively until 1949, when she was the sole owner of the domaine.

According to David Peppercorn, "the great age of Petrus" began with the end of World War II and the successful Chateau Petrus 1945 vintage. Jean-Pierre Moueix of the Libourne négociant house Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix acquired exclusive selling rights of Chateau Petrus in that year and the international reputation of Chateau Petrus began to grow. Mme. Loubat, who also owned Chateau Latour à Pomerol, remained an active vigneronne throughout her life, known for her meticulous dedication to detail and quality, and strong determination that her wine deserved to be priced equal to the great crus.

In the following years the efficient partnership with Moueix became prosperous. Chateau Petrus became introduced in the United States, and the wine was served at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947. Mme. Loubat later presented a case of Chateau Petrus to Buckingham Palace for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

After the 1956 winter frost that devastated the grapevines of the Bordeaux region and killed two-thirds of the Chateau Petrus vineyard, Mme. Loubat decided not to replant but to regraft new vines on surviving rootstocks; this process of recépage had been previously untried in the region; her success ensured that the vines' average age remained high and established a tradition that has since been followed. Chateau Petrus was traditionally sold off in cask as well as in bottle, a practice which came to an end in 2013.

Chateau Petrus fame in the U.S. grew in the 1960s, with the promotion by Henri Soulé, owner of the restaurant Le Pavillon in New York. According to Alexis Lichine, Chateau Petrus was served at Le Pavillon in the days when Onassis sat at a corner table. After that, Chateau Petrus became a status symbol, the sort of name dropped by people who wish to imply not only that they know wine but that they are in wine".

On the death of Mme. Loubat in 1961, the estate was divided between a niece and nephew, Mme. Lily Lacoste-Loubat and M. Lignac, and a share was left JP Moueix to allow for equality between the two heirs, thought to be in conflict, and to ensure Moueix' continued influence. For a period the estate was represented by the niece, but in 1964 Ets. JP Moueix bought the Lignac shares, and at this time the oenologist Jean-Claude Berrouet became permanently attached to Chateau Petrus. Prior to this, Émile Peynaud had been employed as a part-time consultant. In 1969, 5 hectares (12 acres) of vineyard were added to the estate, purchased from neighbouring Chateau Gazin.

The Petrus coutry house.

Following the death of Jean-Pierre Moueix in 2003, his son Jean-François Moueix, head of Groupe Duclot, is the owner of Chateau Petrus and controls distribution within France, while the younger son, has been in charge of Chateau Petrus since 1970, is overseeing the vineyard, marketing and export distribution, along with his son Edouard Moueix. When Jean-Claude Berrouet retired as technical director after 44 vintages in 2007 he was replaced by Eric Murisasco. Berrouet's son Olivier Berrouet was appointed the new winemaker, and is in training to become technical director as Christian Moueix stated in 2008 his intention to distance himself from Chateau Petrus, limiting his role to that of a consultant.

There is no chateau on the estate, but rather a modest two-storey country house, with decorations of symbols and keys of St. Peter Christian. Moueix has stated, "Chateau Petrus doesn't deserve the name 'chateau'. It's just an old farmhouse, really".

 

Vineyard

Surface area: 28.2 acres

Grape Varieties: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc 

Average age of vines: 35 years

Density of plantation: 6,500 vines per hectare

Average yields: 36 hectoliters per hectare

Average cases produced: 2,300 per year

Plateau of maturity: 10 - 30 years 

 

Chateau Petrus Performance History Graph

*Click on the graph below to see the performance of each individual wine*

Petrus Performance History Graph

Chateau Petrus Wine List

*Click on a wine to view more details including a review, recent price history and tasting notes*

Wine

Point Score

Chateau Petrus 1990 91
Chateau Petrus 1991 N/A
Chateau Petrus 1992 90
Chateau Petrus 1993 92
Chateau Petrus 1994 93
Chateau Petrus 1995 96
Chateau Petrus 1996 92
Chateau Petrus 1997 91
Chateau Petrus 1998 98
Chateau Petrus 1999 94
Chateau Petrus 2000 100
Chateau Petrus 2001 95
Chateau Petrus 2002 90
Chateau Petrus 2003 95+
Chateau Petrus 2004 93
Chateau Petrus 2005 96+
Chateau Petrus 2006 93+
Chateau Petrus 2007 91
Chateau Petrus 2008 97
Chateau Petrus 2009 100
Chateau Petrus 2010 100
Chateau Petrus 2011 93

Bordeaux Investment Wines - Chateau Petrus Review

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