Extravagant, lavish, and merely grand- we’re talking about the famed Pétrus, of course.
The iconic winery dates back to 1837 but didn’t rise to fame until “the great age of Pétrus” in 1945. Pétrus finds its home on the unclassified Right Bank of Bordeaux in a modest two-story farmhouse. Aesthetically, it is nowhere near the opulence of its Left Bank Château counterparts, but its wines tend to be even more expensive and rare.
With a repertoire for embodying power, glamor, and wealth, there is no question as to why we’re huge fans. Check out these five facts you may not know about Pétrus, the ultimate symbol of Right Bank Bordeaux!
Right Bank Rarity
Pétrus is one of the only great Bordeaux properties to produce a mono-varietal wine, and in most years, the Grand Vin is 100% Merlot. Only producing about 3,000 bottles annually and no second-label, they remain incredibly selective of their grapes, which yields high-quality, low volume wines.
Although Pétrus’s prestige is like that of a king, the origins are modest and consist of a small farmhouse nestled on the highest hill in Pomerol. Situated at the highest point of elevation on the Pomerol plateau, it’s the terroir that makes Pétrus so unique.
Underneath the topsoil of clay is a subsoil of deep, dark blue clay only found in Pomerol, with Pétrus being the only Chateau to have its entire vineyard situated upon it. The dense clay is impenetrable when dry and retains water during the rainy season. This special blue clay found deep within the soil is more than 40 million years old and doesn’t exist in any other winegrowing region in the world!
On the Palate
Decanting a bottle often reveals a unique, mysterious treat! The flavors and aromatics of the wine express depths of truffles, stone fruits, coffee, barrel spices, and freshly cut flowers on the palate. The texture of Pétrus is described as a decadent, silky experience complemented with ample velvet-like viscidity.
Because of its steep price and high demand, it is best to indulge in a Pétrus bottle after a good 20-30 years of cellaring. Pétrus is best when served at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and paired with rich, hearty meat dishes.
Praises Of All Kinds
While much of the demand for Pétrus remains in France, accounting for 35-40% of direct sales, the wines have flourished in the aftermarket amongst collectors worldwide. In fact, the Right-Bank superstar has gained quite a unique following. Notable superfans include President John F. Kennedy and First-Lady Jackie O, Daniel Sobolevskiy, who has a half-sleeve tattoo of a Pétrus wine label, and famous wine critic Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate.
Check out this 100-point rating 2009 Pétrus by Robert Parker:
“An opulent Pétrus very much in the stylistic family of the 1990, this 100% Merlot has a dense plum/purple color and a sweet nose of mulberries, black cherries, some subtle toast, and licorice as well as a floral element. A wine of great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and full-bodied, stunning concentration, the 2009 Pétrus is everything one would expect of it. Given the sweetness of its tannin, much like the 1990, I suspect this wine will always be “open for business,” appealing even in its youth. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2050+.
This is one of the larger productions of Pétrus over recent years, with nearly 3,000 cases of this vintage turned out by proprietor Jean Moueix.”
Investing In Pétrus
The highest-rated vintages of Pétrus, all receiving 100-point ratings from Robert Parker, include 2010, 2009, 2000, and 1990. However, these are not the only vintages that hold significant value; the producer ranks 6th in popularity and holds an average price of $3,348 per bottle. With a small production size and limited bottlings of large format bottles, it is best to purchase Pétrus directly from the winery or from trusted, reputable sources. Rest assured, Benchmark Wine Group also performs hand-inspections on every bottle to enter our warehouse. As a result, we guarantee the provenance of all wines that we sell. Read more on our Provenance Guarantee.
Do you have a favorite vintage of Pétrus? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants, and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. Benchmarkwine.com offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.