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Chateau Petrus

petrus-winery.jpgAn icon of the wine world, and in the minds of many, the world's greatest wine.  Chateau Petrus is on 11.5 hectares of clay soils, right in the heart of Pomerol's famous plateau.  It is surrounded by great properties - Vieux Chateau Certan, Hosanna, Trotanoy, Le Pin, Lafleur, Lafleur-Petrus, l'Evangile and La Conseillante - yet it continues to outshine them all.

The vineyards are nearly entirely Merlot (there remains one small plot of Cabernet Franc, but it is almost never used now) and average perhaps 50 years of age.  Petrus tends to be picked a little earlier than most other properties, it's owner Christian Mouiex preferring freshness and vitality and never wanting to risk any over-ripe or raisoned characters in his wine.petrus-vats.jpg

The grapes are sorted in both the vineyard and the winery before being placed in concrete vats for alcoholic and malolactic fermentations, being pumped over twice daily.  The wine spends up to 16 months in oak, of which 30 to 35% is new depending on the vintage.  The wine is racked every three months, and is bottled after a light egg white fining, usually unfiltered.

Petrus is a tremendous wine, with stunning aromatic complexity and layers and layers of flavour.  Yet it is rarely, if ever, a blockbuster style.  Whilst its pricetag is certainly hefty, it invariably delivers in terms of quality and style, and of course, has a wow factor.  Sadly, although unsurprisingly, Petrus is one of the most 'faked' wines around the world, and consdierable skepticism should always be given to bottles that do not have excellent provenance.  More recent vintage have a range of security measures embedded in to the bottle and labels, but older wines often have a degree of doubt surrounding their authenticity.

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