2016 petrus, pomerol
Why We're Buying
It might be an understatement to call Pétrus a masterpiece. The merlot has earned an astonishing 11 100-point ratings from wine critic Robert Parker alone and retails north of $2,500 per bottle. As Jeb Dunnuck described the 2018 vintage, “[it] is a brilliant wine that has perfection written all over it.” The staggering price hasn't slowed investors, rising steadily in price from 2017 to 2021.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Opaque purple-black colored, the 2016 Petrus slips effortlessly out of the glass with sanguine, seductive notes of kirsch, warm black plums, blueberry compote, red roses, Ceylon tea, violets, dark chocolate-covered cherries, licorice and cinnamon stick with wafts of iron ore, pencil lead, unsmoked cigars and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, profound and absolutely edifying on the palate, the densely packed, beautifully perfumed red and blue fruit layers possess a charge like defibrillators stimulating your heart to be faster, each delivering achingly subtle floral and spice sparks, perfectly framed by very firm, very grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with incredible length and taking you to depths that extend to a provocative ferrous undercurrent. Stunning.
This is very fleshy and deep with so much texture and richness. It’s full-bodied yet fresh. The tobacco, white truffle, licorice and dark fruit are so impressive. It’s so exuberant and wild. It just goes on for ever. Spellbinding. Very muscular and powerful. Agile and energetic. Please give this time. Needs eight to ten years. Try from 2029.
Bottled in mid-August, this is already taking on the most amazing slow creep of well-defined, crisp violet, cassis, tight black fruits and fig notes; floral and fresh yet complex and ripe. It's balanced by the most gorgeous burst of mint and slate, all stretching out slowly, delicately, gently. It's more architectural than the monumental 2015, but no less impressive, beginning to really settle and take its time to gather its forces, to layer itself up. A pure, precise style, it holds your attention for many many minutes after the wine has gone, both aromatically and intellectually. The overall impression is simply of pleasure. 50% new oak.
This is a silky-smooth wine. However, that silkiness masks the generous, ripe tannins and juicy black fruits. It has great structure, full of serious firmness. Give it time and this wine will explode in a series of wonderful fruits, while keeping the classic Bordeaux structure. Drink from 2025.
One of the top wines in the vintage is unquestionably the 2016 Petrus, which is, as always, all Merlot aged in just over half new French oak. It's more reserved and subtle compared to the 2015, yet it’s unquestionably in the same ballpark, offering a deep ruby/purple color as well as a classy bouquet of crème de cassis, black cherries, graphite, smoke tobacco, spring flowers, and subtle spicy oak. This is a wine that builds with time in the glass and delivers a full-bodied, multi-dimensional texture, present, ripe tannins, perfect balance, and a finish that won't quit. It’s haute couture at its finest, and as I wrote multiple times in my notes, simply pure class. Hide bottles for at least 7-8 years (10-15 would be even better) and it will keep for half a century.
There are both lush and structured elements working here, with velvety cassis, raspberry puree and plum compote notes intertwined with tobacco, alder and cocoa accents. This pulls together steadily through the finish, showing superb focus and a tight-grained feel, while fresh acidity imparts rippling energy. The raspberry note hangs longest through the finish. Best from 2022 through 2038.