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News

Petrus plans distribution change - Chateau Pétrus is set for a distribution shakeup, forming a new company as sole distributor.

 

Pétrus is owned by Jean-Francois Moueix (and now his children), while Ets Jean-Pierre Moueix is owned by his brother Christian Moueix. Since 2009 Pétrus has been run entirely separately from the Ets JP Moueix properties.

Bordeaux 2011 picture of Chateau Petrus

The Pomerol estate has appointed Christophe Jacquemin Sablon – who worked as commercial director at Ets JP Moueix for five years, and before that at Louis Roederer champagnes – to head a new company, yet to be named, which will be the sole distributor of Pétrus.

It will be independent of Duclot, the négociant company also owned by Jean-Francois and Jean Moueix. Jacquemin has been at Pétrus since March 2012.

The 2012 vintage is the last year that Ets JP Moueix will have the exclusivity on Pétrus for the export sales, although the chateau will continue to be sold en primeur – it is thought through a larger number of négociants. Some French private customers have always received small amounts of the wine, and will continue to do so.

‘We want to identify where Pétrus will be best to be sold, to ensure that customers are able to get hold of it, and to drink it. We don’t want it concentrated in a few hands,’ Jacquemin Sablon told decanter.com.

by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

 

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History

Christian Mouiex has a problem that many of the world's winemakers would love to be burdened with. The demand for his wines is so huge that collectors are prepared to pay almost anything to get even one bottle. The high price leads to high quality expectations. This often means disappointment, because just like the other top wines of the world, Pétrus is often drunk much too young, when its taste is still raw and undeveloped. Pétrus requires at least 20 years to mature.

Pétrus' fame is to a large extent attributable to Madame Edmond Loubat. She bought the estate piecemeal between 1925 and 1945. Madame Loubat had strong faith in the quality of her wines and asked higher prices than any other producer in Pomerol.

Jean-Pierre Mouiex was the perfect partner for her. Mouiex was a négociant from Libourne and owned some properties himself. Mouiex was successful in marketing Pétrus and catapulted it into global fame. Pétrus became introduced in the United States, and the wine was served at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947. Madame Loubat later gifted a case of Pétrus to Buckingham Palace for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

After the 1956 winter frost that devastated the grape vines of Bordeaux region and killed ⅔ of the Pétrus vineyard, Madame Loubat decided not to replant but regraft new vines on top of existing survivor rootstocks (the process recépage previously untried in the region[ with success, ensuring that the vines’ average age remained high and establishing a tradition that has since been followed. Until this year, Pétrus was sold off in cask, as well as in bottle, which came to an end.

When Madame Loubat died in 1961, Mouiex became part-owner in Pétrus. Today, the Mouiex family owns most of it. The son of Jean-Pierre Mouiex, Christian, has been responsible for winemaking at Pétrus since 1970, supported by Jean-Claude Berrouet. Berrouet retired formally from winemaking in 2007, but with the help of his son, Jean-François Berrouet, he has continued work as technical consultant for wineries in Israel, Argentina, China and France. The Petrus Estate, as of 2010, it now run by Jean Pierre Moueix's son Jean-François Moueix, and Berrouet's other son, Olivier Berrouet, is Director of Winemaking.

 

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Vineyards

The myth surrounding the Pétrus vineyard is firstly due to its unique terroir (a bump located at 40 meters high on the famous terrace of Pomerol, made of deep clay lying on iron pan) on which Merlot grape variety expresses itself exceptionally and resists naturally to the climatic variation. 

The average age of the vines exceed 45 years. The estate was among the first in Bordeaux to implement green-harvesting or éclaircissage as a way to lower crop yields and raise the quality of the remaining grapes. Grapes are hand harvested over two to three days,  although the vineyard’s small size permits harvesting to be completed in one day if necessary. The grapes are picked only in the afternoon, when the morning dew has evaporated, so as not to risk even the slightest dilution of quality.

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Winemaking

The grapes are picked by hand, destemmed, and since 2009 an optical sorter has replaced hand sorting. They are gently crushed before vinification in concrete vats. Maceration usually lasts 15 to 21 days to extract only the softest and most mature tannins from the skins and the pits. Half the juice is gently pumped over in the morning and the other half in the evening. After maceration the juice goes into another vat for the malo-lactic fermentation.

The must is lightly pressed and sometimes the press wine is incorporated into the final blend. After the malo-lactic fermentation is complete each vat is tasted and those which are good enough are blended together before the wine is aged in barrels. Only 50% of the French oak barrels are new. When these are received from the coopers they are filled with water for 15 days in order to get rid of the most aggressive tannins. The barrels are closed with a silicon bung from the very start in order to protect the wine from contact with oxygen. There is no ullage. The wines are racked every three months. The aging varies in length from one vintage to another depending on the quality of the grapes.

 

Drinking Pétrus may be an unforgettable experience. We have been lucky to have the opportunity to taste most of its great vintages. That is why wine enthusiasts often come to us for advice. First, we advise you to choose a good vintage, an excellent one if your wallet allows. If you taste a poor vintage, you will notice how it raises above most other wines of the same vintage, but you will miss the actual point of Pétrus. Second, purchase wine that is at least 10 to 20 years old, because a young Pétrus is difficult to approach, besides which oak and tannins predominate in its taste. Young Pétrus may be impressive, but it ages fantastically and requires more time than any other Pomerol wine to reach its culmination. Finally, we would advise you to decant the wine with care and well in advance, and also to give it time to develop in the glass. Then you will have the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable experience.

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 Pétrus, limiting his role to that of a consultant.

Soil: dark clay Production area: 12ha Grape varieties: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. 

Average age of vines: 42-45 years Harvest method: hand picked

Winemaking: fermentations take place in thermo-regulated concrete tanks Ageing: 100% new oak barrels for 18-20 months 

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Inside information

The producers of the 2004 film Sideways had originally wanted the character Miles Raymond’s treasure bottle to be a Pétrus, which ultimately became a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc. Moueix stated, “Quite a few film scripts cross my desk and I vaguely recall Sideways asking for permission to use Pétrus. I am afraid that at that time, I found the script unexciting and declined”.

 

PÉTRUS AND CHAMPAGNE TO LEAD CHRISTIE’S HK SALE

A 57 bottle vertical of Pétrus and prestige Champagne cuvées from Salon, Krug, Gosset and Selosse will lead Christie’s next Hong Kong sale this month.

Champagne-BottlesTaking place on 21 March, the sale features “outstanding” lots of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsatian, Rhône and Italian wines.

One of the centrepieces of the sale will be Right Bank super star Pétrus, with a 57 bottle lot spanning 1950-2009 expected to fetch HK$1.1 to HK$1.7 million.

Also strongly represented is Champagne with bottles and magnums of 1990 Cristal, 1996 Bollinger R.D., Philipponnat’s Clos des Goisses, Krug, Salon, Dom Pérignon rosé and Jacques Selosse all up for sale.

Burgundy will be strongly represented by large consignments of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Henri Jayer and other domains, while Zind-Humbrecht, Weinbach and Trimbach will fly the flag for Alsace.

Top lots for Italy include mixed cases of Giusto di Notri from Tua Rita and Redigaffi 2006 from the same estate.

4th March, 2015 by Rupert Millar

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1 different wines with 83 vintages

People Show all

  • Jean-Claude Berrouet

    Winemaker 1964-2007
    A wine should tell you the story of the place it came from. Innovation and change are important, but there should be limits on techniques that a winemaker can use and still have a wine classified as a Bordeaux. If I'm a conductor playing Mozart, can I add notes to it? Pretentious men do this. As long as I can make a living doing what I do, I will resist the move to a standard taste.
  • Jeff Leve

    Writer
    In the best vintages, the texture is other worldly. It has a richness and viscosity, as well as silk and velvet feel that no other Bordeaux wine can offer.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  31 wines 

The Finnish summer has not started yet - the sea is still cold (+14c) and it's raining every second day - but the colder the weather is, the better is the taste:)


Here are some summer wines I have tried between the showers.

1m 6d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  4 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  30 wines 

Le Cinq "Wine Legends" Dinner with wines like Bouchard 1865, Beycheville 1899, DRC Conti 1940, DRC Richebourg 1942, Margaux 1928, Latour 1929, Mouton 1949, Petrus 1949, 1955, 1959, and 1966 etc.

1m 19d ago

 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  11 wines 

1949 was a great vintage that has aged beautifully.

1m 21d ago

 Dhruv Sawhney, Wine Lover (India)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Vintage 1961 tasting with Mouton, Lafleur, Petrus, Latour, La Chapelle, Palmer etc.

2m 7d ago

 Andreas Larsson / Best Sommelier in the World 2004, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  2 wines 

1911 Niepoort – it feels like it would be unfair to compare this with the non fortified wines as no one would stand a chance to compete with the incredible power, inimitable intensity, mind blowing length or alluring complexity of the 1911 Colheita! Once again I think it would be a waste trying to describe the individual aromas or flavours, let´s just say that this encapsulates and amplifies everything we´ve learned to love about fine old Port. A taste of another era that makes you wonder if you want to go back?

2m 21d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  13 wines 

My TOP Bordeaux from 2010 vintage / Deep ruby in colour, the Lafite has wonderful aromatics, with a gorgeous perfume of violets, cedar, cassis and blackberries. With its velvety tannins and layered, delicate flavours, there is a succulent juicy character to its fruit profile, accented with hints of violet. It is a gorgeous wine that is filled with delicate layers of flavours and at the same time is not heavy or dense. This is clearly a very successful vintage for Lafite in both style and intensity, producing a wine that will outlive the outstanding 2009. 100 points

2m 30d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Petrus 2009 / 100 points / If a wine's aroma can be sexy, then this is it: Vibrant mixed spices, sweet, ripe plums, blackberries and violets. The wine has amazing density and richness with Petrus' signature layers of flavours including hint of game, anise and exotic Asian spices that go on and on. This is an intoxicating wine that will be a hedonists' delight in its youth or after decades of aging.

3m 17d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Last evening was a real " Voyage autour du monde" along with the top 24 wines that wine countries can offer, and there was only four of us enjoying them...Unfortunately, quite a lot of bottles remained half empty, but not the Petrus 2003, Cheval Blanc 1947, Screaming Eagle 1999, Pingus 1995, Haut-Brion Blanc 1995, Lafleur 1996 etc.

3m 23d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

4m 22h ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  30 wines 

My TOP 30 wines of the Bordeaux 2016 vintage.

4m 4d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

4m 7d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pétrus . In a tasting of  64 wines 

98 wines tasted from Pomerol 2016 vintage, a stunning vintage for the appelation. Petrus might be the wine of the vintage, such finesse! But many others as well. Le Pin, La Conseillante, Clinet, Gazin, Petit Village, Lafleur, L'Evangile, VCC, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy, L'Eglise-Clinet and many more made stunning wines. Gazin made the best wine they ever did, same with Nenin. Pomerols are beyond seductive in 2016.

4m 16d ago

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