1961 Petrus Bordeaux Blend
Bordeaux Blend - 750ML

  • WA 99
  • IWC 98
  • WS 93

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This product is
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WA 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2016
The fabled 1961 Petrus is a wine that I know an awful lot about, but never tasted myself. Indeed, it was researching my Pomerol tome that I came across the almost accidental and fortuitous circumstances that surrounded... The fabled 1961 Petrus is a wine that I know an awful lot about, but never tasted myself. Indeed, it was researching my Pomerol tome that I came across the almost accidental and fortuitous circumstances that surrounded its birth. As always with bottles such as this, I inspected the bottle meticulously, not just the label but the glass, the capsule, the residue inside the capsule, the cork and finally the wine, notwithstanding enquiries about its provenance and juxtaposing directly with other bottles of Petrus tasted on the same day. And here we had context because it was served against a ex-château 1961 Palmer. Readers should also note that I showed Jean-Claude Berrouet images of the bottle, cork and capsule and he confirmed that to all intents and purposes, this was the real deal. Its color was commensurate with the vintage, deep at the core with think bricking at the rim. The 1961s have a telltale aromatic trait -- a distant seaweed/iodine-like tang that was present both here and in the 1961 Palmer. I did not discern a hedonistic Pomerol after 55 years, however, you could tell it must have been very concentrated in its youth with vestiges of black plum and blackberry. This marine-like scent ebbed away and the aromatics blossomed in a manner that all great Petrus do, the fruit changing slightly towards red in profile, mulberry and cranberry, all with bewitching delineation. The palate has exquisite balance; it is structured and with solid backbone, not foursquare but certainly more serious and less sensual than say, the 1964 Petrus. It has a wonderful, slightly grainy texture and it felt a little savory/cedar-like on the intense, sweet, luxuriant finish, perhaps those handful of Cabernet Franc vines influencing the persistent aftertaste with just a faint tang of bell pepper? It is a formidable Pomerol, even now in what I would describe as its middle age rather than dotage. As banal as it sounds, it was fundamentally a delicious mature Petrus of staggering beauty, a wine that articulates its age and vintage and place it was born with haunting clarity. Tasted September 2016. - Neal Martin
IWC 98
Stephen Tanzer's IWC - Stephen Tanzer's IWC, August 2002
Deep red-ruby color with an amber edge. Utterly singular perfumed high-pitched aromas of loganberry cherry and flowers. An awesomely concentrated wine of huge power and depth. Chewy with extract and wonderfully sweet and... Deep red-ruby color with an amber edge. Utterly singular perfumed high-pitched aromas of loganberry cherry and flowers. An awesomely concentrated wine of huge power and depth. Chewy with extract and wonderfully sweet and rich. Shows the strong iron note I often get from merlot on the Pomerol plateau along with superripe suggestions of cherry liqueur and dark chocolate. Finishes with great grip and length and a bit less sweetness than the middle palate would suggest. Drink now through 2020.
WS 93
Wine Spectator - Wine Spectator, April 1996
Tasted from magnum. A rich and opulent vintage of Pomerol's most acclaimed wine. It tastes subdued at first but then the flavors warm up and turn deep and nicely mature. The texture is thick and chewy without being tough... Tasted from magnum. A rich and opulent vintage of Pomerol's most acclaimed wine. It tastes subdued at first but then the flavors warm up and turn deep and nicely mature. The texture is thick and chewy without being tough and the finish is long.
Color & Type Red
Varietal Bordeaux Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Pomerol
Vintage 1961

Label

Fermentation for Petrus is carried out gently, without any over extraction, in temperature controlled concrete tanks. The blend, typically pure Merlot, is defined in December and the wine is aged 18+ months in French oak barrels, 50% of which are new.

Petrus displays an intense color, a rich and complex nose and an opulent fruit. In great vintages, the wine can easily be kept 25 years or more.

Winery

Petrus

Little known 50 years ago, Petrus has become mythical for the uniqueness of its wine. The wine’s inimitability is due to many factors. Among them is an exceptional terroir—located 40 meters above sea level, the highest point of the appellation—with a layer of heavy clay soil and an iron subsoil.

These are ideal conditions for the expression of the Merlot grape and the iron-rich clay is relatively unique within the region. As a result, the 28 acre vineyard is planted only to Merlot. Average vine age is more than 50 years, and are allowed to reach 70 years before replanting.

The approach in the vineyard and cellar is traditional and respectful of the special terroir. The viticulture is fastidious—severe pruning in the winter, regular ploughing, crop-thinning, de-leafing, manicuring the clusters in the summer—and allows perfect ripening of the fruit. Grapes are manually harvested over just two days and sorted before crush.

Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix purchased half a share of Petrus in the early 1960s and are largely credited with its rise to fame. The company also owns many other properties in both Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, including Magdelaine, Belair-Monange, La Fleur-Petrus, Lafleur-Gazin, Lagrange, Latour a Pomerol, Hosanna, and Trotanoy.