Pétrus is undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed wines of Bordeaux and certainly the best of Pomerol. Its unique terroir and astounding care taken in the winegrowing and winemaking make it one of the most remarkable wines on Earth. Its global recognition coupled with an extremely high demand makes it one of the hardest wines to source in great condition. We are privileged to present it here in Australia.
Pétrus champions every aspect of the terroir* definition. The small vineyard of only 11.4 hectares (28 acres) is located on the highest hill of Pomerol on the right bank of Bordeaux at an altitude of 40 meters.
The vines are on average 40 years old, planted at a density of 7,000 vines per hectare. The vines at Pétrus showcase the DNA of this truly exceptional wine and to ensure it endures, a massal selection of the vines is performed. This consists of isolating the highest quality vines within the vineyard and cloning them. It is laborious work to undertake but forms part of a powerful tradition that continues to strengthen the style and quality of the wine.
Since 2011, the vineyard has been entirely planted with Merlot grapes, having done away with the half a hectare of Cabernet Franc they had previously. Pétrus is the only estate in Pomerol that has its whole vineyard planted on iron-rich clay soil, with blue clay veins running throughout, adding to the extreme complexity of its makeup. The grapes at Pétrus are therefore able to ripen better and to gain more complexity with the help of good water drainage.
During a warm and dry vintage the clay acts as a sponge and slowly releases very small amounts of water to the roots of the vines. During a rainy vintage, the clay will absorb the water and drain it so that the grapes are not exposed to too much humidity and potential disease. The vineyard is managed to produce a few grapes per vine in order to naturally concentrate the wine and increase the complexity and aging potential. Pétrus has the incredible ability to age for more than fifty years.
Behind the scenes, three people have turned this small estate into the famed wine we know today. It started rather recently, in 1945, when Marie-Louise Loubat became the sole owner of the seven hectares of vineyards which became Pétrus. She bought the property share by share beginning in 1925, while she also was the owner of Chateau Latour in Pomerol.
In 1945, Madame Loubat granted exclusive distribution rights to Jean-Pierre Moueix, a passionate and visionary wine lover and successful négociant in Libourne, Bordeaux. Jean-Pierre Moueix saw the full potential of Pétrus in its early days and decided to slowly buy some shares from Madame Loubat and acquired majority ownership in 1964. He then started to promote it abroad, particularly in New York, where it quickly became an icon for wine connoisseurs.
A few years later, it was Jean-Francois Moueix; Jean-Pierre’s eldest son, who bought the remaining shares and became the sole owner in 1969. Shortly after, the estate was enlarged with five more hectares bought from neighbor Chateau Gazin. In the meantime, Jean-Francois created the Duclot Group in Bordeaux and today it is one of the most respected négociants of the Place de Bordeaux.
Also vital to the success of Pétrus is winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet, hired by Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1964. His instinctive talent and knowledge increased the quality of the wine over the decades he was at the helm. He produced some truly memorable vintages. After 45 impressive vintages, he passed the management of Pétrus onto his son Olivier in 2008, whilst continuing to consult. Olivier has inherited his father’s talent and is also a trained oenologist and agricultural engineer. He brings invaluable input to Pétrus, ensuring that the quality reaches new heights.
Since 2011, Jean-Francois Moueix’s son Jean has taken over his position of CEO of the Duclot Group as well as Pétrus. Jean’s dedication for quality is clear and a great deal of effort is being put towards increasing the high sophistication and detail residing in Pétrus.
Clos Cachet is honoured to import Pétrus into Australia. This wine represents the epitome of quality and craft.
*Terroir is the specific combination of location, vineyard, climate and people that create a wine. Accordingly, different terroirs produce different wines.
Clos Cachet is importing Pétrus directly from the Chateau into Australia.