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Chateau Petrus: Winemaking, Best Wines, Prices (2021)

By
Anthony Zhang
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February 9, 2021

Want to explore all about Chateau Petrus - one of the world’s most prestigious wines?

This exclusive red wine has nothing less than a star-studded fan-base, including members of the British royal family and the Kennedys! 

But what makes the Chateau Petrus vineyard so unique, and why is Petrus wine so expensive? 

Which Petrus wines should you buy in 2021?

In this article, you’ll find all the answers - from the grapes to the winemaking, and the best vintages to buy. You’ll also discover how to invest in a much-desired bottle of Chateau Petrus or any other Investment Wine for yourself! 

Further reading

Find out answers to all your wine investing queries in this in this insightful guide.

This Article Contains

  1. 1947 Vintage
  2. 1951 Vintage
  3. 1961 Vintage
  4. 1968 Vintage
  5. 1982 Vintage
  6. 2000 Vintage
  7. 2005 Vintage
  8. 2010 Vintage
  9. 2015 Vintage
  10. 2018 Vintage

An Introduction to Chateau Petrus 

An Introduction to Chateau Petrus 

The Chateau Petrus vineyard is located in the wine-growing region of Pomerol in Bordeaux, France.  It is a small wine estate owned by the Mouiex family and is located in the eastern portion of Pomerol. 

This Chateau produces one of the most exceptional red wines in the world using a single varietal - Merlot grapes. 

The name “Chateau Petrus” comes from “St. Peter” (Petrus is the Greek spelling). St Peter was chosen because the name Peter means “rock”. During the warmer months, the soil at Chateau Petrus dries and becomes as hard as a rock. 

Though the Chateau Petrus estate produces one of the world’s most outstanding wines, it is small and exclusive, with the estate measuring only 11.5 hectares. 

Let’s take a quick look at the Pomerol appellation where this Chateau is located.

Also read:

Here’s a super-informative article on the best Champagnes to invest in 2021. Don’t forget to serve it in the right glass

Meanwhile, mix yourself a chilled Mimosa or a fruit-powered Sangria!

The Pomerol Appellation

The Pomerol Appellation

Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux’s five main wine regions and is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It was granted AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) status in 1936. 

It is also home to other great vineyards like Château Gazin, Vieux Château Certan and Château Trotanoy. 

The Pomerol estates have been left out of more than one Bordeaux Classification, including the 1855 Bordeaux Classification and the Crus Bourgeois Classification, while regions like Medoc and Saint-Emilion were included. 

Now, Chateau Petrus isn’t one of the oldest vineyards you’ll come across, but it has a rich and fascinating history!

A Brief History of Chateau Petrus

Brief History of Chateau Petrus

The very first owners of Chateau Petrus were the Arnaud family, who owned the Petrus estate for around 200 years. 

Under the Arnaud family, Chateau Petrus won the gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1878. The win boosted the sales and the price of Petrus significantly.

Sadly, in the beginning of the 20th Century, the Arnaud family had to sell the vineyard. They created a share-holding company called La Société Civile du Château and sold shares of the Petrus estate. 

Slowly but surely, a widow named Madame Edmond Loubat acquired these shares until she owned the entire estate by 1945. Madame Loubat’s family were the owners of Chateau Latour (another Pomerol estate) and other establishments like the Hotel Loubat in Libourne.

During Madame Loubats ownership, Petrus wine had a very successful vintage in 1945 that propelled it to its current success. 

In the same year, Jean-Pierre Mouiex obtained exclusive selling rights to the wine. JP Moueix was a French winemaker who owned a négociant (wine merchant) house called Etablissements Jean Pierre Moueix. 

In 1947, when the Lord Mayor of London visited the Pomerol estates for a royal wedding, Madame Edmond Loubat gifted him with two bottles of Petrus. This introduced the wine to British high society and raised its perceived status. 

Madame Loubat was also the one who, after a dreadful winter in 1956, started the practice of coppice harvesting by cutting back the vines on the surviving rootstocks instead of replanting. 

After the death of Madame Edmond Loubat in 1961, portions of the vineyard went to her family members - Madame Lacoste Loubat and M. Lignac. A share of the vineyard was also given to JP Moueix. 

However, just three years later, Jean-Pierre Mouiex became the sole owner of the estate and he started working alongside esteemed winemaker Jean-Claude Berroeut. 

The Mouiex family owns Chateau Petrus’ vineyard even today. It is run by Jean-Francois Moueix and Olivier Berrouet.

Chateau Petrus Viticulture and Winemaking

Chateau Petrus Viticulture and Winemaking

Chateau Petrus stands out from the vineyards around it because of the uniqueness in terroir and grape processing techniques.    

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Terroir and Soil in Chateau Petrus

The vines in Petrus’ vineyard are located on top of an ancient island mound, taking up roughly half of its area. This area is known as Pétrus boutonnière or Petrus’ buttonhole. 

The clay soil in the buttonhole is over 40 million years old and is found nowhere else!

There are two layers of clay soil in the vineyard. The first is dark clay topsoil. The second is a highly unique subsoil - an iron-rich, dark blue, smectite clay. This clay is very hard, but it absorbs and stores water. 

In summer, the vines soak up the water that is stored in the smectite. 

This special terroir is what makes the Merlot grape vines flourish and the resulting wine so unique!  

Also read: Your guide to the Best Malbec Wines to Buy in 2021

Merlot: The Grape Used to Make Petrus Wine 

Merlot: The Grape Used to Make Petrus Wine

Jean-François Moueix and the Moueix family believed that the terroir of Chateau Petrus is better suited to the Merlot grape variety than to any other grape. 

So, since 2011, only Merlot grapes have been planted in the Petrus vineyard. 

Until 2011, a small section of the vineyard was dedicated to Cabernet Franc grapes as well. But, after the harvest of 2010, the 0.5 hectare area of Cabernet Franc grapes was uprooted entirely. 

The vines in this appellation were planted in the 1950s, so the average age of a Chateau Petrus vine is around 65 years!

Read more: Here are helpful guides to the finest Barbera wines, Châteauneuf du Pape bottles, delectable Zinfandels, and top Rose wines in the world.

What are the characteristics of the Merlot grape?

Merlot is a red grape variety with a dark blue color. The grape has a thin skin and a low tannin count. 

Merlot wines have a rich fruit flavor, with seductive notes of warm black plums and black currant! 

Also read: Want white wines? Check out these elegant Sauvignon Blancs and crisp Rieslings

Petrus Winemaking Process 

Petrus Winemaking Process

Chateau Petrus follows a low-yield, high-quality grape winemaking process. 

They use the “green harvesting” (or éclaircissage) method - a crop thinning technique where bunches of unripe grapes are cut off. This allows the remaining grapes to ripen fully. 

All the grapes are handpicked and then crushed gently. After this, they are placed in concrete vats for vinification (the process of fermenting grape juice into wine.) 

Next, the grapes undergo maceration - a winemaking process where the tannins, color and flavor from the crushed grapes are extracted into the wine. 

The wine is then fermented inside French oak barrels for 18-20 months. These are 50% new oak barrels that previously had water in them to cleanse their strong tannin taste. 

The oak barrels are replaced in rotation because, as they age, they lose their ability to impart flavor and structure into the wine. 

If the vines have a bad year and are not up to Petrus standard, then no vintage is released that year. Petrus also does not produce a second wine. 

Read more: Want to try the best wines from Italy? Chianti wine is a great choice!

Petrus Wine Taste and Food Pairings

Petrus Wine Taste and Food Pairings

Petrus wine is bold, velvety, and soft with strong fruit flavors. 

Petrus Pomerol has medium to high acidity. The red wine is much loved for its elegance, intensity, and complexity. 

This opulent wine can go with a sublime duck ragoût or Agneau De Pauillac, a lamb dish from Bordeaux. Other meat options to go with this wine bottle are pork, veal, beef, and any other gamey meats. 

For those who prefer to forego meat, we’d recommend a delicious mushroom risotto or pasta with a creamy Bordeaux cheese sauce  - to complement the wine’s richness.

So, what is it that makes the wine from this Pomerol appellation one of the world's most expensive wines? 

Why is Chateau Petrus so Expensive?

The exceptional terroir of the Pomerol appellation, the high quality of the surviving rootstocks after harvest, and the careful winemaking process makes the Chateau Petrus Pomerol an inimitable bottle of wine!

Add to it the fact that Petrus’ vineyard is small and only a very limited number of bottles are produced each year (and some years, none at all!) 

Chateau Petrus makes only around 30,000 bottles of wine each year - just a quarter of what a Bordeaux winery like Mouton Rothschilds produces in a year!

Why Should You Invest in Petrus Wine?

The inimitable quality, scarcity, and popularity among wine critics will continue to drive up the desirability and prices of Petrus wine! 

The Petrus index (that tracks the price movement of the last ten vintages) - is up 37% over five years outperforming the Liv-ex 100 (up 19.9%) and the Bordeaux 500 (27%.)

Chateau Petrus also performs extraordinarily well at auctions, with many wine lovers prepared to pay whatever it takes to get their hands on a bottle of this outstanding wine. 

For example:

  • In 2018, a Chateau Petrus 2000 vintage was sold for $51,660.
  • In 2019, some vintages were sold at a hammer price as high as $38,900.

In short, investing in a Chateau Petrus can potentially guarantee you handsome returns. 

So, which vintages of Chateau Petrus Pomerol should you invest in? 

The Best Vintages of Chateau Petrus 

To make it easier for you, here’s a handpicked list of the best Petrus bottles you should buy now!

1.1947 Vintage

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1947

The Bordeaux summer of 1947 was said to be boiling hot, but thanks to the subsoil of smectite clay, the Merlot grapes still had access to water. This year produced a rich, opulent Petrus, with a palate of black fruit and unsmoked cigars. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1947: $5,910

2. 1951 Vintage 

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1951

Drinking this Petrus is like tasting history. This red wine is full, dry, and delicious. It has delightful tasting notes of licorice and the richness of black mulberry and vanilla oak. Despite its age, there is a bold freshness about this bottle. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1951: $8,247

3. 1961 Vintage 

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1961

The 1961 vintage is absolutely exquisite. This is a bold, earthy wine with a palate of leather, truffle, and warm black plums.

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1961: $10,555

4. 1968 Vintage

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1968

This bottle is a beautiful vintage from the end of the 60s. It is a bold, red wine with notes of cinnamon stick, vanilla oak, and a fruit palate of dark chocolate covered cherries - an excellent example of an opulent Petrus bottle. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1968: $5,514

5. 1982 Vintage

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1982

This is a wine full of the richness of black fruit aromas, with a taste of mulberry, Ceylon tea, and a subtle waft of red roses. There is nothing quite like its provocative ferrous undercurrent. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 1982: $5,492

6. 2000 Vintage 

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2000

This millennium vintage is perhaps now at its prime tasting time. It has a palate of chocolate, cinnamon stick, black cherry, and licorice with undertones of black currant and Ceylon tea.

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2000: $5,366

7. 2005 Vintage

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2005

This bottle, like all Petrus wine, is unique and elegant. With a provocative ferrous undercurrent, an aroma of vanilla oak, and seductive notes of dark chocolate covered cherries, this Merlot guarantees to take your breath away.

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2005: $4,910

8. 2010 Vintage

2010 Vintage

This red wine has an exquisite bouquet of unsmoked cigars, a rich black fruit flavor, and the bold freshness of Ceylon tea and cinnamon stick. Overall, it makes for truly outstanding wine. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2010: $4,557

9. 2015 Vintage 

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2015

Though this Petrus Pomerol wine is only five years old, it is bold, elegant, and smooth. It has a palate of black cherry and mulberry with a waft of red roses and truffle - a gorgeous, opulent Petrus. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2015: $4,397

10. 2018 Vintage 

Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2018

Another rich red wine, with seductive notes of black currant, black cherry, warm black plums, and the freshness of licorice. We recommend waiting for this wine to age before drinking - between 10 and 20 years to be prudent. It's also a great investment wine. 

Price of Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, 2018: $4,286

You could say that a bottle of Chateau Petrus wine is rare, and is difficult to get a bottle of this

But don’t worry -  that’s where Vinovest comes into the picture! 

Buy Chateau Petrus and Other Fine Wines through Vinovest

Vinovest

Vinovest is an online wine investment platform. With Vinovest, you can buy, store, and sell the world’s most exclusive wines, including a rare bottle from an upcoming winery.

How Does it Work?

Follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Sign up with Vinovest. 
  2. Fill in a questionnaire about your risk appetite and investment preferences.
  3. Add a minimum $1,000 investment to your Vinovest account.
  4. Add to your wine portfolio and watch it grow - while you mix your Kir Royale or sip any Champagne cocktail

The Benefits of Vinovest 

Easy Buying and Selling

With Vinovest’s exclusive AI Platform, you can buy and sell a Chardonnay, ice wine, Lambrusco, a sweet red wine or any others - no matter where you are in the world! 

Best Prices

Because Vinovest is able to source its wine directly from winemakers, merchants, and global wine exchange platforms - you have access to the best wines at the best prices. 

Provenance and Authenticity 

No need to worry about counterfeit bottles because Vinovest traces the provenance and authenticates every bottle before you buy it. 

Curated Portfolio

With the assistance of historical data, expert wine Sommeliers and data scientists analyze all financial models and then carefully curate a wine portfolio for you. 

Optimal Storage 

Your wine could not be in safer hands. Vinovest stores your precious Screaming Eagle or Tempranillo wine in warehouses with optimal conditions (at the right temperature, humidity, light, and vibration.)

Insurance 

Vinovest’s warehouses are under camera surveillance 24/7 - so your wine is very well taken care of. Plus, there is a back-up generator that keeps the power on in case of an electricity cut! On top of all this, Vinovest has an insurance policy in place to protect your wine.

Access to a Global Network 

Because of Vinovest’s global exchange network, you get access to wines like Petrus - that otherwise would be near impossible to find. The network grants you access to new vineyards, private wineries, and more! 

Ownership 

You are the sole owner of any wine you buy through Vinovest! 

Easy Delivery 

Whether it's being delivered to you for your dinner (or for wine-gifting) or to a buyer, Vinovest will make sure that the delivery process is simple, safe, and smooth. 

Curating an Impressive Wine Portfolio Couldn’t Get Easier! 

Opening a bottle of Petrus Pomerol is an experience like no other! It is sheer elegance in a bottle, while being an excellent investment wine as well. 

And if you want to curate an impressive portfolio of wines, including the sought-after Petrus Pomerol, Vinovest is undoubtedly your ideal wine investment partner. 

So simply start putting together your wine collection by signing up on Vinovest today!

Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in This Incredibly Useful Red Wine Guide!

Written by

Anthony Zhang

Anthony is a repeat entrepreneur who has previously founded and sold two companies, EnvoyNow and KnowYourVC. He has also held leadership positions at Blockfolio and is a board member at RateMyInvestor.
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