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One of rarest and most expensive wines in the world, Petrus become internationally recognised after the Moueix family bought half of the share of the property in 1962. Today, this Pomerol estate is under the management of Christian Moueix and oenologist, Jean Claude Berrouet.
Wine Advocate 100: Opaque purple-black colored, the 2016 Petrus slips effortlessly out of the glass with sanguine, seductive notes of kirsch, warm black plums, blueberry compote, red roses, Ceylon tea, violets, dark chocolate-covered cherries, licorice and cinnamon stick with wafts of iron ore, pencil lead, unsmoked cigars and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, profound and absolutely edifying on the palate, the densely packed, beautifully perfumed red and blue fruit layers possess a charge like defibrillators stimulating your heart to beat faster, each delivering achingly subtle floral and spice sparks, perfectly framed by very firm, very grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with incredible length and taking you to depths that extend to a provocative ferrous undercurrent. Stunning.
James Suckling 100: This is very fleshy and deep with so much texture and richness. It’s full-bodied yet fresh. The tobacco, white truffle, licorice and dark fruit are so impressive. It’s so exuberant and wild. It just goes on for ever. Spellbinding. Very muscular and powerful. Agile and energetic.
Vinous 99: The 2016 Pétrus is magnificent. There is a sense of total completeness in the 2016 that is hard to capture with words. A regal wine of total presence, the 2016 simply has it all. Beautifully layered in the glass, with stunning aromatics and endless, layered fruit, the 2016 is utterly captivating. Once again I am struck by the wine's purity and total class. Technical Director Olivier Berrout and his team turned out a magnificent Pétrus in 2016. Total time in barrel was 19 months, with 50% new oak.
Decanter 99: Bottled in mid-August, this is already taking on the most amazing slow creep of well-defined, crisp violet, cassis, tight black fruits and fig notes; floral and fresh yet complex and ripe. It's balanced by the most gorgeous burst of mint and slate, all stretching out slowly, delicately, gently. It's more architectural than the monumental 2015, but no less impressive, beginning to really settle and take its time to gather its forces, to layer itself up. A pure, precise style, it holds your attention for many many minutes after the wine has gone, both aromatically and intellectually. The overall impression is simply of pleasure. 50% new oak.
Wine Advocate 98+: Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Petrus comes galloping out of the glass with bold, expressive notions of Black Forest cake, blueberry preserves and Christmas pudding with nuances of molten chocolate, Chinese five spice, candied violets, licorice and kirsch plus wafts of roses and cinnamon stick. Full-bodied, rich, spicy and fantastically concentrated, the palate has compelling freshness and a solid base of wonderfully ripe, velvety tannins, finishing very long and opulent. The aromatics at this youthful stage are atypical for Petrus and quite stunning—this 2017 is a bombshell! Furthermore, it is a unique style for this estate and one avid collectors should seek out!
James Suckling 98: I love the aromatics to this with crushed berries, violets and black olives. Hints of vanilla and some caramel. Decadent. Full-bodied and round with very creamy tannins that melt into the wine. It starts off slowly and and then kicks off a few seconds later. The tannins are extremely polished and refined. Hard not to drink now, but wait. Try after 2025.
Vinous 95+: Deceptively alluring a few months after bottling, the 2017 Petrus is attractive and nuanced, and yet I get the impression it is going through a rather awkward stage. Floral and blood orange overtones add freshness and inner perfume to a Petrus that will age more on finesse than power. Olivier Berrouet opted for longer skin contact than normal, about 30 days, with pumpovers of one volume of wine per day at the beginning of fermentation. Malolactic fermentation took place in steel. The 2017 spent about 14 months in oak and then four months in tank prior to being bottled in July 2019.
Decanter 97: One of the very few in the vintage where there is actual flesh on the bones, and lots of it. The danger in dry years is that tannins can get too angular, and the overall feeling too austere, but here they have successfully managed to maintain juice and aromatics. A three week harvest at Pétrus, a long window for this property where the terroir is so even. There is an awful lot to recommend here, and is easily one of the best wines of the year. The aromatic side is extremely enjoyable, touches of fresh hay, lovely gentle spice, tons of dark fruits, cinnamon and complexity. Extremely charming, with lots to say for itself.
Wine Advocate 100: The 2018 Petrus has retained its opaque purple-black color after bottling, foreshadowing the seemingly frozen-in-time glacial pace at which this wine is proceeding. It opens very reluctantly, requiring considerable air with vigorous swirling and doggedly demands a few hours before it offers glimpses at this slumbering giant of a wine. As it eventually unfurls, it slowly morphs into a powerful, fantastically pure nose of preserved plums, blackberry preserves and blueberry compote, followed by nuances of molten licorice, dark chocolate, black truffles, iron ore and, still later, floral notions of lilacs and rose oil come through. The full-bodied palate is taut, muscular and oh-so-tightly wound at this stage, revealing peeks at many, many layers of perfectly ripe black and blue fruits, exotic spices and earthy notions for which words simply fail. The texture is at once rock solid and fantastically plush, with impeccably knit freshness, finishing so long you really can't taste or think of anything else for the rest of the day. Here is a heart-stopping titan that puts paid to all those naysayers who contest that perfection in wine cannot exist. It will require a good 8-10 years to hit its stride, then it is very likely to outlive us all, but you will want to make certain you drink this one before you go.
James Suckling 98: An extremely exotic red wine with crushed berries and a bouquet of flowers. So aromatic and perfumed. Full bodied and layered with lots of pretty oak, enticing fruit and tannins. Velvety. Best after 2028.
Vinous 100: The 2018 Petrus is every bit as grand as I thought it could be. A wine with no start and no end, the 2018 envelops all the senses from the very first taste. It is at times intellectual, while in other moments more hedonistic, but it is always a total turn-on. Silky and layered, with exquisite finesse and depth to burn, the 2018 Petrus is unquestionably the wine of the vintage on the Right Bank and one of the handful of truly unforgettable wines of the vintage. As I wrote when I tasted the 2018 from barrel, I have never tasted a young Petrus with this much sheer class. It's an absolutely brilliant effort Petrus and Technical Director Olivier Berrouet.
Wine Advocate 96: The 2019 Pétrus is a powerful, heady wine, bursting from the glass with aromas of raspberries, cassis, violets, spices, licorice and kirsch. Full-bodied, fleshy and layered, with an ample core of fruit, lively acids and powdery tannins that assert themselves on the liqueured finish, it's a ripe, high-octane Petrus that reflects the influence of a dry, warm growing season on what is essentially a single cépage (Merlot) and a single soil type (clay).
Vinous 98: The 2019 Petrus is relatively flamboyant on the nose with gregarious black cherries, raspberry coulis scents mixed with autumn bonfire and fireside hearth. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, well balanced, quite fresh with a poised and delineated finish. I adore the pepperiness that lingers in the mouth, a multifaceted Pomerol with a long life ahead. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
Decanter 98: A seductive and sensual nose full of ripe and sweetly-perfumed cherry and blackcurrant notes - which are even more expressive and abundant after an hour in the glass. This is such a beguiling wine, changing in texture and fruit profile several times from a first sip of smooth and streamlined, chalky tannins to one filled with bright acidity and succulent juiciness then shifting another gear delivering a palate full of concentrated dark fruits edged with liquorice and black pepper. The tannins are abundant and clearly present, Olivier Berrout director of Petrus says he’s never produced a vintage with such high tannins, but they are wonderfully consistent and well integrated with a lovely powdery element to them. You really feel the structure develop in the mouth, building in complexity and layers with a beautiful perfume and wet stone minerality lingering on the long finish. You have to wait for the reticence and reservation of Petrus in its youth to subside before you see the power and energy here but it’s giving a tantalising glimpse of what its long life holds in store.
Wine Advocate 100: As I observed to Olivier Berrouet, it's hardly very original to find a wine critic extolling the virtues of this Pomerol reference point; and yet, whether one likes it or not, there's no denying that the 2020 Pétrus is a brilliant achievement and indeed one of the very finest vintages at this address over the last two decades. Unwinding in the glass with a deep bouquet of dark berries, cherries and cassis mingled with hints of exotic spices, violets and vine smoke, it's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with huge depth at the core, exquisitely refined tannins and a youthfully reserved, even restrained profile despite its power and size. This serious, classically proportioned Pétrus is a monument in the making.
James Suckling 100: The transparency and complexity in the nose is wonderful, with so much floral character like violets and roses with some fresh spices. Dark berries, too. Sandalwood. It’s medium-bodied but then it just opens and unfolds with incredible depth of fine tannins and great length. It goes on for minutes. It opens like butterfly wings. What a wine. Superb. Drink after 2028.
Decanter 100: A seriously impressive Petrus in 2020. Less hedonistic and instantly emotional than 2019, more sultry, almost shy and reserved but with definition, weight, succulence and suppleness that shines through. It has a silky tannic tension and clear power but not heft, only a soft muscular expansion that comes with a grip and chew to the black fruits with medicinal, liquorice edges and mouthwatering acidity. Understated yet utterly captivating, it takes its time to come out of its shell - a little serious right now but at the same time it’s stylish with a bright, lifted finish reminding you of the juicy freshness that’s possible even in such warm vintages. A shining star that will be magnificent in time.