It is a privilege of being the only of its kind: The sword of Alexander, The infamous Kohinoor diamond, and Château Pétrus wine. The wine got its name from its location, of course. But Pétrus is not only a place but also a vineyard once owned by a roman named Petrus. And the inspiration for the logo came from the greek St. Peter Petros. One of the most expensive wine, it certainly lives up to its mystiques.
The history behind the Legend
There is no second of its kind, not even produced by the state. The history of Château Pétrus goes back to the late 18th century. In 1878, Pétrus won a gold medal, taking its place among the most significant wines, ranging its price almost on the level of a Médoc. According to most wine enthusiasts, the most famous vintage began with the end of world war II.
Over the years, the vineyard has seen a lot of owners. But it started to flourish while under the supervision of Mme. Loubat. Her coppice vine process changed the production process that still holds its tradition to this day. Their theory of never compromising with taste and pricing has earned its place in the vintage category.
Why is it different
The vineyard of Château Pétrus wine is 28 acres in the eastern portion of Pomerol. It is one of the smallest states in Bordeaux that only produces some 30,000 bottles a year. Famous for its blue clay texture of the soil, the grapes get their unique taste because of their iron-rich clay. In turns, the grapes create a taste and flavour for the wines that are like no other.
The making of Château Pétrus
The wine-making process is also different from any other. Only producing red wines, the grapes are collected one by one very carefully. Then they are sorted out by hand. Since 2009, the makers started to use an optical sorter. Pétrus still uses its 12 traditional vats, which are temperature controlled for their fermentation. They have come a long way from pre fermenting it for 15-21 days. Now the process only takes one to two days. Then the juice is pumped for malolactic fermentation in the vat. After the completion of the process, only selected vats are deemed worthy of being a Château Pétrus. It is then blended and placed in stemmed French oak barrels and left for 15-20 months. There is no place for a second tasting or levelling of wine at Pétrus.
‘Though Pétrus can be deliciously young, it’s only with the older vintages that one can begin to imagine what all the fuss is about,’ says Jay McInerney, the American novelist and screenwriter. Château Pétrus wine is among the ancient surviving ones that control its quality and quantity to this day. There is nothing else like it. The measures to preserve the grapes through to the process of fermentation and ageing: everything gets done with extreme care and diligence. Hence the incredible taste that keeps coming on and on.