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Monday, 16 June 2014

$1,000 Per Bottle

Château Pétrus: Notes from DON MERLOT                                                
[WritersClearinghouse News Service]
New Orleans
The wines of Bordeaux are considered some of the best and most elite wines in France and/or the entire wine world. Historically they have been given the highest ranking as great wines in the world. There was a wine classification in the 19th Century (1855) that ranked Bordeaux wines, and the wines that were elevated to the zenith of wine greatness enjoy that nirvana today. The ranking continues.
Chateau Pétrus is a wine from the Pomerol district (AOC) of Bordeaux and is a wine that oenophiles know of its lofty place. Chateau Pétrus is a red wine and has its own delicacy and heritage. Pomerol has become a producer of finely cultivated red wines. Petrus is the only wine ranked in Pomerol. It is hors classé.
The best and famous top Bordeaux wines are: Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc and Ausone. Pétrus rounds of the top eight.

Bordeaux has various wine districts and the left bank of the Gironde has Medoc and going further east one takes the Dordogne and near Lilbourn there are the districts of St. Emilion and Pomerol that use the Merlot grape. Merlot is used rather than the Cabernet Sauvignon which is found in the top Medoc wines.
Merlot has been used in Pomerol and St Emilion because it matures the wine quicker. Cabernet Sauvignon in Medoc has a maturity cycle is 12 to 15 years and Merlot has a cycle of five to eight years.
The area Pomerol comes from the Latin word Pomum for fruit. There are three areas in Pomerol: Pomerol, Laland Pomerol, and Neac. Pomerol has the best terroire. All the wines from Pomerol carry a solid positive reputation.  Pomerol is the smallest real estate in Bordeaux. (Four kilometers by three kilometers)  
Château Pétrus was owned by L.P. Lacoste and J. Pierre Moueix. The administrator is Christian Moueix. Its taste is more intense, richer, denser, and more tannic than other Bordeaux red wines. It is the clay that gives this taste. A flavor of truffles is detected because of the mineral content in the vineyards soil.
The property is on the border of St. Emilion. It is directly across from Cheval Blanc -– a sister wine and part of the great Bordeaux growths.
Over the last 50 years the price and reputation of Petrus has skyrocketed. In the '60’s it was expensive when the first vintage offering was $5. Today when the wine is released it will be close to a $1,000. Wine Collectors in China have driven this wine to be the most expensive wine.
St. Emilion was the original area and Pomerol formed its own area in 1927. The area has a rich history. It dates back to the Romans. Petrus means Peter in Latin. Petros is Greek and in the Christian era Jesus named Peter 'Petros' which in Greek means rock.  
By the end of the first Millennium Medieval France was preparing for the Crusades. From Pomerol grew the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem they were given rights to heal the injured and sick. During the second Crusade Saladin forced them out and they ended up in Malta. Their attire is famous for being black and wore a Maltese cross on their chests.
These knights should not be confused with the Knights Templar who came from Burgundy and were created by St. Bernard of Clairveaux who was instrumental in creating Burgundy wines at the Clos Vougeot which was a Cistercians order that went to the Second Crusade as the Knights Templar.
Pomerol as part of Bordeaux was part of English Aquitania When Eleanor of Aquitania married Henry the II of England. She was the mother of Richard I (the Lion Hearted) and John. During this period English nuances influenced the wines of Bordeaux. After the Crusades the vineyard were developed for trade and demand for overseas sales.
I was lucky in the 1970s and had Chateau Petrus once and in the 1980s, twice. Very good friends invited me for a wine tasting. It was a lifelong treat. Full and bold but ready to savor. It was a 1970, was six years in the bottle when it was offered to me.
Those who drink Petrus know this story well. Those that have not yet had that treat I can only say, Find a good Chinese rich friend. When people say Cabernet Sauvignon is the King, others will counter but Petrus (Merlot) is the best. Bordeaux is much bigger than the Cote d’Or of Burgundy and they say Pinot Noir is heavenly (the good Lord Himself going down your gullet in velvet trousers). The old saying holds true: Wines are like horse races. If everybody bet on the same horse there would not be horse races.
[Don Merlot lives in New Orleans as Ron Alonzo].