Petrus Facts

  • Geography:
    France: Bordeaux: Right Bank: Libournais: Pomerol AOC
  • Grape Varieties:
    Cabernet Franc, Merlot
  • Important People:
    Olivier Berrouet, Eric Murisasco
  • Annual Case Production:

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Chateau Petrus
Chateau Petrus, from a prime vineyard on well-drained clay soil atop the Pomerol plateau, has for decades stood as the world's greatest example of Merlot. Petrus's rise to the top, however, was rather meteoric, happening all at once in the second half of the 20th century.

Chateau Petrus, which is really not a chateau at all, just a two-story farmhouse 40km from Bordeaux, dates to the mid 18th century. The golden age of Petrus, however, didn't begin until after World War II, when Madame Edmond Loubat became sole proprietor of the estate. Under her direction, Petrus became one of the first estates in Bordeaux to implement green harvesting--a technique used to lower crop yields and increase concentration in mature berries. The terroir, unique to the 28 acre site at Petrus, produces a wine that is extraordinarily creamy and thick but with the substantial tannic underpinning to ensure decades of development in bottle.

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The panoply of exotic aromas and flavors typically encompasses black raspberry, mulberry, iron, cocoa powder, truffle and expensive new oak. Petrus bottlings are generally 100% Merlot, although some vintages will contain 2-3% of Cabernet Franc. The vineyard itself is planted to 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. An average vintage produces only 2500 cases of the Grand Vin and no second wine. This limited supply accounts for much of the astronomical price of a Petrus bottle.

In 2007, After 44 seasons as Technical Director at Petrus, Jean Claude Berrouet retired and was replaced by Eric Murisasco. Berrouet's son, Olivier Berrouet, is winemaker at Petrus and is currently in training to assume the position of Technical Director.

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About Bordeaux

Bordeaux is the planet's largest source of fine wine, the model for Cabernet Sauvignon- and Merlot-based wines around the globe. Bordeaux wines are considered by many wine connoisseurs to be the world's greatest reds.

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