The weather is a point worth going back to because 2014 is a vintage that to a large degree was saved by September sun and heat, the date of this visit was September 17th. They did not start picking in earnest for another week, it was pushing 30 degrees and very settled.
|Elisabeth Jaubert shows us the vineyards...|
Once the grapes are harvested in terms of winemaking things are kept "simple", approximately 50% new oak with racking every 3 months or so. Petrus uses three coopers for the barrels.
|The Chai allows for lots of parcels to be kept "apart"|
2013 - Vibrant, rich, bright, it has an opulence as well as a nervousness, an almost stem-like crispness, cranberry and black berry. A stoney minerality that goes when the glass is swilled, tart opulence again, over time the middle will fill out. It is a relatively feminine Petrus.
We moved onto Clos Videlot, Jean-Pierre Moueix's stunning former home, for lunch around one large table with every topic covered. Olivier Berrouet and Christophe Jacquemin were both on great form along with Elisabeth and Virginie.
After some lovely Bollinger NV (a little bottle age I am guessing) and a Beaune Blanc 2008 from Drouhin the real "work" began as we had two vintages of Petrus in front of us, one from magnum and one from bottle. Having had a few older vintages through the generosity of customer/friends I was fairly sure I had not had these two before. There was a pause with everyone slightly hoping someone would dive in. Adam made a good call and said lets nail it down to a particular decade...are we talking 1980's? The answer was "yes" for both wines. I now stepped up to the plate and picked the left hand glass (the wine from bottle, not magnum) as 1985. My logic being it was balanced and elegant, seamless...I thought it was not a potentially "weaker" vintage - 80, 81, 84, 87 but not a "bold" vintage either - 82, 86, 88, 89...this only left '83 and '85 and I expected '85 is more complete and precise. To great relief I was correct...exam passed!
The wine from magnum was left to the others, I was keen not to take any of the gloss off my respectable performance. The magnum was 1989, a more savoury, bigger, bolder wine with more richness but not over the top sweetness. I found the 1985 more complete at this time but that is the age and fact it is bottle not magnum. It was a truly brilliant lunch and we headed back to the airport without really wanting to!