Another Penning-Rowsell bottle that was served (blind) alongside the 1971 and much less steady than the '71. On occasion a tad angular but overall glorious. Fully evolved – not a trace of tannin. Still a very firm crimson with development at the rim. Gamey nose. Tasted like a fairly cool vintage. Then it showed regular flashes of Petrus lusciousness.
Drink 1990 - 2026
Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com (January 2013)
I drank this last year with some wine collector friends you guessed it: in Hong Kong! It’s an exceptional bottle I’ve been lucky enough to have tried on several occasions, and it never disappoints. The nose shows olives, brown sugar and dark fruit. It’s full and joyous with round tannins and a flavorful finish. Truly sublime and among the great vintages of this legendary estate, such as 1947, 1990, or 1998.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (March 2014)
This dark garnet-coloured wine shows considerable amber at the edge. I have always had a tendency to taste this side by side with 1971. It has been fascinating how 1971 was fully mature at a much younger age yet continued to hold onto life without losing any of its seductive fruit and intensity. The 1970 started off life more tannic, backward, and massive, but it needed considerable time and has now hit full stride.
It is a profound Petrus and certainly one of the great Petrus’ of the last half-century. The wine has a huge nose of cedar, caramel, vanilla, tobacco, fruitcake, and liquorice-infused black cherry jam. It is unctuously textured and full-bodied, with extraordinary sweetness, glycerin, and a layered, dense finish. This wine should continue to drink well for at least another 20 years.
Drink 2003 - 2025
Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (January 2003)
About this WINE
Pétrus, one of the world`s rarest and most expensive wines was virtually unheard of 30 years ago. It was only when the Moueix family bought a half share in the property in 1962 that its true potential began to be fully realised. Pétrus is now under the direction of Christian Moueix and oenologist, Jean Claude Berrouet.
The 11.4 hectare vineyard is located on a plateau on the highest part of Pomerol in the far east of the appellation. The topsoil and the subsoil at Pétrus is almost all clay (in neigbouring properties the soil is a mixture of gravel-sand or clay-sand) and Merlot flourishes in this soil. Pétrus' vineyard is planted with 95% Merlot.
The vines are unusually old and are only replanted after they reach 70 years of age. The grapes are hand harvested only in the afternoon, when the morning dew has evaporated, so as not to risk even the slightest dilution of quality. The grapes are fermented in cement vats and the wine is aged in 100% new oak barrels for 22-28 months. It is bottled unfiltered.
Pétrus is extraordinarily rich, powerful and concentrated, often with characteristics of chocolates, truffles, Asian spices and ultra-ripe, creamy, black fruits. Petrus is usually approachable after a decade or so in bottle, but the wines from the very greatest years will continue improving for many more years.
Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux's major appellations, with about 150 producers and approximately 740 hectares of vineyards. It is home to many bijou domaines, many of which produce little more than 1,000 cases per annum.
Both the topography and architecture of the region is unremarkable, but the style of the wines is most individual. The finest vineyards are planted on a seam of rich clay which extends across the gently-elevated plateau of Pomerol, which runs from the north-eastern boundary of St Emilion. On the sides of the plateau, the soil becomes sandier and the wines lighter.
There is one satellite region to the immediate north, Lalande-de-Pomerol whose wines are stylistically very similar, if sometimes lacking the finesse of its neighbour. There has never been a classification of Pomerol wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.