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Château Petrus

The winery is located in the heart of the municipality Pomerol in the area of the same name ( Bordeaux ). In the winery there is a small stone figure of the eponymous apostle. It won a gold medal at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris, but the winery was little known internationally for a long time. This changed abruptly with the 1945 vintage, which as Wine of the century applies (see a bottle in the picture). In 1925 the business was partly owned by Marie Louise Loubat (+1961) and was fully acquired by her in 1949. At that time, the vineyards covered 6.5 hectares with the varieties Merlot (70%) and Cabernet Franc (30%). That year Jean-Pierre took over Moueix (1882-1957) sole distributor for wine. After the owner's death in 1961, Moueix acquired a third of the shares, the other two inherited from Lily Lacoste (niece of Madame Loubat). In 1964 Moueix acquired further shares in two thirds. After the death of Jean-Pierre Moueix, son Jean-François (* 1945) took over the management in 2003, his brother Christian (* 1946) heads the production.

Petrus statue, bottles born 1945, 1962, 1975, 1985

The vineyards grew in 1969 by buying 5 hectares of the neighboring one Chateau Gazin on a total of 11.5 hectares of vineyards. The vine planting was reduced to 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc changed. This red wine is one of the best and most expensive wines in Bordeaux and also the world. The vintage 2000 cost between € 3,500 and € 3,800 in 2010 (you should open it after ten years at the earliest). The well-known wine journalist Hugh Johnson remarked: "Incomparable - but unfortunately only for millionaires" . There is no one of its own in Pomerol Grand Cru classification, but he is undisputed the top of the league and the five Premier Cru Classé in Médoc at least equate. Today only “Petrus” is on the label, but “Château Pétrus” is still mentioned on old labels (by the way, there is no chateau = castle). Even in good years, no more than around 4,000 boxes (~ 50,000 bottles) are produced.

The gravelly sand-clay soil on a bed of ferrous earth with particularly good water discharge creates excellent conditions. This is ideal for Merlot, from which the wine is made 100% in most vintages. Another criterion is the vines, some of which are up to 70 years old. And a third point is the extreme yield constraint. With the winter pruning there are only eight on each vine eyes leave (two more would increase the yield by a quarter). In summer there is another restriction due to rigorous thin out to around half. The vintage special attention is paid. A total of 180 harvest helpers are on call. The start of this happens when the grapes are the ideal physiological maturity achieved. You only start in the afternoon so that the dew (which could dilute the must) has already evaporated. The harvest takes place in several rounds of the ripe grapes. Immature and unhealthy grapes are mercilessly eliminated. If necessary, unusual procedures are also used. When it rained before the harvest started, a low-flying helicopter was used to dry the vines.

The expansion takes 18 to 22 months in 100% new barriques. Doing so is ongoing sensory Exams take place, only the best barrels go into the Grand Vin, A special feature of the dark and extremely concentrated red wine is the low acidity, which makes it soft, round and smooth. Despite the high tannin content, the wine is tender and oily, which you can literally bite and chew. Aromas of black currants, blackberries, mulberries and plums are attested to, which have grown over the years tobacco notes should join. As already mentioned, the wine should at best not be opened ten years ago, the shelf life is 30, 40, 50 years and longer. It is actually a wine that you should bequeath to your heirs after purchase. Particularly outstanding vintages were or are 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999.

In the mid-1990s, the winery hit the headlines of the wine-oriented trade press, as by the famous wine author couple David Peppercorn and Serena Sutcliffe the authenticity of imperial bottles from the Château Pétrus vintages 1921, 1924, 1926, 1928 and 1934 owned by the well-known collector Hardy Rodenstock (1941-2018), which were offered for sale. The suspicion was never proven, but also not refuted, because the winery has no production records of these vintages.

Left: By Kassander der Minoer from Wikipedia , CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
Right: By Frederik Vandaele - Flickr as Château Pétrus , CC BY 2.0 , Link

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