Drinking Pétrus may be an unforgettable experience. We has 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, WeI 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.
Bordeaux Vintage 1952
The recovery from the Second World War was slow and wine producers had many challenges ahead of them. Their production facilities were in poor condition and there was no capital for investments. However, thanks to several great harvests, the period from 1945 to 1961 yielded some of the most heralded wines in the history of Bordeaux winemaking. Although 1952 did not make it on to the list of the greatest vintages from this period, which includes 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1959, it certainly yielded some very attractive wines that are perfect to enjoy today - especially with people who turn 60 this year.
In 1952, the season started with a moderately warm and dry spring. The summer months, from June until the end of August, were dry with an average daily temperature of 20.5C; the temperature climbed to over 30C on 29 days. Unfortunately, Mother Nature turned her back on the producers at the very end of the season. Rain and cold weather arrived on September 4 and in Pauillac, for example, it rained for 22 days. The rain partly diluted the crop and, due to the cold weather, the phenolic ripeness of the late-ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon was left slightly short. Thus, the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Left Bank did not fare as well as the Right Bank, where the earlier-ripening Merlot is dominant.
On the other hand, the Right Bank avoided the worst rains during the September and producers like Cheval Blanc, with its Cabernet Franc–oriented wines, were able to harvest their crop at same time in the middle of September and under the better conditions than their colleagues on the Left Bank.
According to our experience, the best wines of the vintage have been Cheval Blanc, Pétrus, l’Eglise-Clinet and La Mission Haut-Brion. However, we have been stunned every now and then by the lesser-known St-Emilions from this vintage. If we compare the prices with the quality of these wines, we can conclude that they are Bordeaux’s best-kept secrets from this decade – and most are still drinking beautifully providing the bottles have been restored properly. To get the best enjoyment out of these wines, make sure to decant them just fifteen minutes before serving as they do not handle the air as well as the better vintages.