In contrast to many estates, Petrus believes ‘above all you should not chaptilise; you need to take what nature gives you and make the most of it. Nature is the boss’. These were the words of winemaker Olivier Berrouet when I was tasting the En Primeur version of this wine, and it was clearly a sensible choice because it still feels unforced and full of pleasure at ten years old.
You’ll find both grip and character, the tannins offering finely-boned architecture for the blueberry and blackberry fruit, and there’s a kick of life through the finish. Confident, deft winemaking and, in many ways, an excellent way to approach Petrus and understand a little bit what it is about - although the price difference from other vintages doesn’t reflect the difference in concentration and ageing potential.
Harvest took place over three days, 2-4-6 October, bringing in a yield of 25 hl/h compared to 33 hl/h in 2012.
Drink 2023 - 2036
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (February 2022)
The 2013 Petrus was bottled in June 2015, a month before I visited the property to taste it with winemaker Olivier Berrouet. "The idea was not to push too much," he told me. "We didn't use too much wood - around 45% new oak. It would be 55% in a good vintage. The pH is 3.55, and it has 13.5% alcohol." It has quite a deep colour for a 2013, very clear and lucid.
The nose is beautiful, gently unfolding with black cherries, iodine, potpourri and a touch of bilberry. The aromatics are gentle and unassuming, yet very Pomerol and Petrus. The palate is medium-bodied, and for a 2013 it is certainly well structured, the tannins imparting a grainy mouthfeel.
At the moment, it feels saline in the mouth, fresh and with absolutely no sign of greenness. It is a successful wine within the context of the 2013 vintage, and I appreciated the sharpness of what you might call its "clinical" finish. There is not so much in the way of persistence here, and it departs out the exit door swiftly rather than abruptly.
No, it is not the best Petrus ever made, not by a long chalk; nevertheless, it is undoubtedly better than off-vintages in the past, such as the 1986 and 1996.
Drink 2018 - 2035
Neil Martin, Wine Advocate (July 2016)
Shaded crimson. There's something quite animal about the nose, and the palate is much more jagged than Lafleur's. Maybe it's still evolving, but there's quite a bit of dry tannin, and this seems like it still needs to be ready.
Really quite unformed and chunky. However, there is an undertow of complex fruit. Youthful. An extraordinary price!
Drink 2024 - 2034
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (February 2023)
Very fine and structured with ultra-fine tannins. Medium-bodied with beautiful density and texture. It has length and grip for the vintage.
Drink from 2020 onward
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (February 2016)
The difficulties of the vintage are hardly evident here. Very deep in colour, the wine is dense and opulent on the nose, with black cherry aromas. It's ripe, solid, rich, and concentrated, showing ample force and extraction. For 2013, it's powerful, has some grandeur, and is quite unlike the other Pomerols here. Spicy, imposing and long.
Drink 2023 - 2032
Stephen Brook, Decanter.com (February 2023)
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.
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.