Petrus Price Analysis
Highest rated vintages for Petrus
The 1990 Petrus remains incredibly young, one of the least evolved wines of the vintage (along with Montrose and Beausejour-Duffau). This dense ruby/purple-colored effort is beginning to hint at the massive richness and full-bodied intensity lurking beneath its wall of tannin. The vintage's sweetness, low acidity, and velvety tannins are present in abundance, and the wine is massive in the mouth as well as incredibly pure and well-delineated. I thought it would be drinkable by now, but it appears another 5-10 years will pass before it begins to reach its plateau of maturity. This wine is capable of lasting at least four more decades. An incredible achievement! Release price: ($5000.00/case)
The harvest at Petrus took place between September 27 and October 12, and the 2010 finished at 14.1% natural alcohol, which is slightly lower than the 2009's 14.5%. The 2010 reminds me somewhat of the pre-1975 vintages of Petrus, a monster-in-the-making, with loads of mulberry, coffee, licorice and black cherry notes with an overlay of enormous amounts of glycerin and depth. Stunningly rich, full-bodied and more tannic and classic than the 2009, this is an awesome Petrus, but probably needs to be forgotten for 8-10 years. It should last at least another 50 or more. Someone told me recently that Petrus had a second wine, so I asked Olivier Berrouet, their young, talented administrator, whether that was true, and he flatly denied it, so if any Asian wine buyers are running across second wines of Petrus in Hong Kong or on mainland China, be warned – they are not genuine. Proprietor Jean Moueix, who I believe is in his late twenties, has taken over for his father, Jean-Francois, who has largely retired, and the younger Moueix has really pushed quality even higher at this renowned estate. Anyone visiting Pomerol would have undoubtedly noticed the renovations at Petrus, as it was once one of the most modest and humble buildings in the appellation. Moreover, I suspect that multi-millionaire/billionaire collectors will have about 50 years to debate over which vintage of Petrus turns out better, the 2009 or 2010. In a perfect world, most people would love to have a few bottles of each, or at least the opportunity to taste them once in a while, as they have become more of a myth than something real, but these wines do, in fact, exist!
A prodigious Petrus, this wine has that extra level of intensity and complexity that is monumental. The magic is clearly Petrus, and the 2000 will always be an interesting vintage to compare to another legend in the making, the 1998, or more recently, of course, the 2005, 2008, and 2009. Extremely full-bodied, with great fruit purity, an unmistakable note of underbrush, black truffle, intense black cherries, licorice, and mulberry, the wine seems to show no evidence of oak whatsoever. It has a sumptuous, unctuous texture, plenty of tannin, but also vibrancy and brightness. This is a remarkable wine that seems slightly more structured and massive than the 1998, which comes across as slightly more seamless, as if it were haute couture. This wine needs at least another 5-10 years of cellaring and should age for 50+ years.
An opulent Petrus very much in the stylistic family of the 1990, this 100% Merlot has a dense plum/purple color and a sweet nose of mulberries, black cherries, some subtle toast and licorice as well as a floral element. A wine of great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and full-bodied, stunning concentration, the 2009 Petrus is everything one would expect of it. Given the sweetness of its tannin, much like the 1990, I suspect this wine will always be “open for business,” appealing even in its youth. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2050+. This is one of the larger productions of Petrus over recent years, with nearly 3,000 cases of this vintage turned out by proprietor Jean Moueix.
This wine is more tightly knit, more tannic, but every bit the blockbuster concentrated effort that its younger sibling, the 1990, is. It seems to need more coaxing from the glass, but the color is virtually identical, a dense ruby/purple with no lightening at the edge. In the mouth the wine cuts a broad swath, with spectacular intensity, richness, massive concentration, and high levels of tannin, yet the wine is fabulously well-delineated and like its sibling, the 1990, has a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It does not seem to be quite as evolved as the 1990, and my instincts suggest there is a bit more tannin, but both are as prodigious as Petrus can be. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040. Last tasted, 8/02.
The 1998 Petrus is unquestionably a fabulous effort boasting a dense plum/purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of black fruits intermixed with caramel, mocha, and vanilla. Exceptionally pure, super-concentrated, and extremely full-bodied, with admirable underlying acidity as well as sweet tannin, it reveals a superb mid-palate in addition to the luxurious richness for which this great property is known. The finish lasts for 40-45 seconds. Patience will definitely be required. Production was 2,400 cases, about 1,600 cases less than normal. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2040
It is hard to call Petrus a “sleeper of the vintage,” but the 2008 will merit more attention than most consumers would think. Low yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare resulted in only 25,000 bottles of this beauty. A wine of great intensity (possibly the most concentrated wine of the vintage), this 100% Merlot boasts a dark purple color as well as a sweet perfume of mocha, caramel, black cherries, black currants, earth and forest floor. Deep, unctuously textured, full-bodied and pure, it will benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring and should drink well for 25-30+ years.
There is a boatload of tannin in this intense purple-colored effort as well as a beautiful bouquet of mulberry jam, kirsch, licorice, truffles and toast. Seductive, full-bodied and opulent with abundant red and black fruit, it is a full-bodied, long, impressive Pomerol that should keep for 30+ years. Merlot was one of the favored varietals in 2012, and Pomerol was undeniably the top appellation. One of only a handful of candidates for 'wine of the vintage,' the 2012 Petrus was fashioned from small yields due to a significant loss of the crop due to the poor flowering and resulting coulure as well as the lack of rain between mid-July and September 25. The harvest lasted for nearly two weeks (from September 24 to October 8). The natural alcohol in the 2012 ranks alongside that in the 2010 and 2009, 14.5%. The finished pH was 3.8.
It is interesting how this wine continues to evolve. Unquestionably one of the vintage's superstars, the 1995 Petrus is taking on a personality similar to the extraordinarily backward, muscular 1975. This is not a Petrus that can be approached in its youth (i.e., the perfect duo of 1989 and 1990). The wine exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, followed by a knock-out nose of pain grille, jammy black fruits, and roasted coffee. On the palate, it possesses teeth-staining extract levels, massive body, and rich, sweet black fruits buttressed by powerful, noticeable tannin. A formidably endowed wine with layers of extract, this is a huge, tannic, monstrous-sized Petrus that will require a minimum of 10 years of cellaring. Forget all the nonsense about Merlot producing sweet, soft, ready to drink wines, because low yielding, old Merlot vines made in the way of Petrus and other top Pomerols frequently possess as much aging potential as any great Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine in the world. Look for the 1995 Petrus to last for 50+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2050. Petrus, the undisputed King of Pomerol, was an inconsistent performer between 1976 and 1988, but since 1989 there have been few Bordeaux wines that match this property for its extraordinary combination of power, richness, complexity, and elegance. The 1995 and 1996 are both noteworthy efforts.
Inky/ruby/purple-colored with a classic, but tightly wound bouquet of vanillin, cedar, roasted herbs, mulberry jam, black cherries, licorice, and graphite, the full-bodied, powerful, tannic 2005 Petrus is a super-concentrated, backward wine meant for five decades of aging. As excruciatingly tannic as some of the northern Medocs, it requires at least 15 years of bottle age. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050+.