Owner: Ets Jean-Pierre Moueix.
Terroir: ‘Pétrus may stoke the embers of old wine trade tales about wine immortality, but it also slays one particular myth that has been doing the rounds for far too long. I was always told Bordeaux’s best vineyards have deep roots, which somehow access a hidden trove of deeply buried minerals. The soil at Pétrus is predominantly clay, but incorporated into the clay is smectite, a volcanic mineral, that dramatically changes the soil’s physical and chemical properties. Conditions within damp smectite clays are so anaerobic that new roots struggle to grow, while old roots die. Consequently, the vines struggle to extract water from the soil despite the fact the clay feels wet to the touch. The expansion is so dramatic that after 10mm of rain, the soil self-seals at its surface, so in wet years like 1967, the vines can still be subjected to beneficial levels of water stress. Conversely in dry years, smectite clays shrink, and crack, encouraging water and root penetration, which in turn, maintain a restricted but valuable flow of nutrients and water to the vine,’ (John Atkinson MW, 12/2012).
Pomerol AOC, Château Pétrus