HOW MUCH IS MY PETRUS WORTH?
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THE APPELLATION AND CLASSIFICATION
THE COMPOSITION OF PETRUS
THE VALUE OF PETRUS
With a mean value of GBP 21,123 per dozen from 2000-2014, Petrus value remains in the upper echelons of global wine prices – and commands the highest premium in Bordeaux. This, however, was not always the case. In the early days of Petrus’ life, Pomerol was regarded as a simple table wine, with Petrus – and its peers – commanding equivalent, modest prices. It was not until the late 19th Century that Petrus value and recognition started to increase. Astute purchasing of vine parcels from neighbouring properties, viticultural improvements, praise of the property’s unique terroir and great vintages thrusting the property into the limelight got the estate where it is today.
NOTEWORTHY PETRUS VINTAGES AND OUTLOOK
When compared to comparable vintages on the market, Petrus 2015 seems the most viable proposition for upside potential. With key critic scores (Wine Advocate and Suckling) currently sitting at 98-100 and 100 points respectively, ‘perfect’ scores from both critics seem highly likely. An apt mid-term comparisons is therefore the 2010 vintage. Petrus 2010 has a current market value of £31,418 per dozen, against the 2015’s £26,323, suggesting a potential uplift of +19.35%. In regards to longer-term potential the 100-point 2000 vintage is currently valued at an impressive £39,000 per dozen, suggesting a potential value increase of +48.15%.
The 2006, 2011 and 2012 vintages also remain viable propositions, whilst the below-par 2013 seems potentially overvalued and a vintage best to be avoided.
THE HISTORY OF PETRUS
The known history of Petrus started in the 1750s, when Jacques Meyraud and the soon-to-be property purchased land from Gazin; a tactic they also used over the following two centuries later. Petrus is named after its namesake; the hill on which it lies. And the hill named after its former Roman owner, Petrus. Ownership changed hands numerous times over the coming years. In the mid-19th century, the property’s reputation was starting to blossom, sitting in close quarters to the reputation of Trotanoy and Vieux Chateau Certan.
After the phylloxera devastation of the late 19th century, Petrus replanted their entire vineyard holdings with Merlot, whilst purchasing further vineyard holdings from Gazin. Reputed quality followed, continuing to raise Petrus’ status. Quality continued to rise with the new ownership, in 1929, of Madame Loubat. In the years to follow, Loubat subsequently enlisted the help of Jean-Pierre Moueix, leaving the property under the guide of two exceptionally talented leaders. High prices followed, almost on par with the First Growths. In 1961, Madame Loubat passed, leaving the property to her nephew, neice and Moueix. Mouiex enlisted the help of the famed winemaker, Emile Peynaud. The property finally came into the control of Moueix in 1964, at which point he purchased M.Lignac’s (Loubat nephew) share of the property.
In 1969, with Jean Claude Berrouet enlisted to take charge of the winemaking, Moueix’s eldest son, Jean-Francois, purchased the remaining share’s from Loubat’s niece, leaving sole ownership under the family. The same year, they purchased yet more land from Gazin.
Vitucultural, marketing and vinifcation changes followed until the property was thrown into the limelight by the outstanding 1982 vintage. A succession of great vintages, critical acclaim and price rises followed. Christian Moueix now manages the estate.
THE UNIQUE TERROIR OF PETRUS
Petrus has 11.5 hectares under vine. There are two factors that make the vineyards unique; the topography and soil composition. Petrus sits on a hill, elevated about the Pomerol plateau; perfect for both drainage and aspect. However, the soils seem to be the major factor in influencing the wine’s character. Petrus is the only property in the appellation to sit on two different clay subsoils. The water-holding properties of the soils enable the vines to receive a small amount of constant water supply, during even periods of drought – vital to fruit ripening. The bottom layer of clay – blue clay, which uniquely lies under all of Petrus’ vines – is so dense that the vine roots cannot penetrate. The difficulty the vines therefore have in finding nutritional content in the soils results in increased effort put into fruit production. Resultantly, wines of very high, but soft tannins, density and pronounced aromatics are produced.