The 2018 Petrus has retained its opaque purple-black color after bottling, foreshadowing the seemingly frozen-in-time glacial pace at which this wine is proceeding. It opens very reluctantly, requiring considerable air with vigorous swirling and doggedly demands a few hours before it offers glimpses at this slumbering giant of a wine. As it eventually unfurls, it slowly morphs into a powerful, fantastically pure nose of preserved plums, blackberry preserves and blueberry compote, followed by nuances of molten licorice, dark chocolate, black truffles, iron ore and, still later, floral notions of lilacs and rose oil come through. The full-bodied palate is taut, muscular and oh-so-tightly wound at this stage, revealing peeks at many, many layers of perfectly ripe black and blue fruits, exotic spices and earthy notions for which words simply fail. The texture is at once rock solid and fantastically plush, with impeccably knit freshness, finishing so long you really can't taste or think of anything else for the rest of the day. Here is a heart-stopping titan that puts paid to all those naysayers who contest that perfection in wine cannot exist. It will require a good 8-10 years to hit its stride, then it is very likely to outlive us all, but you will want to make certain you drink this one before you go. 2029 - 2080
The 2018 Pétrus, matured in 50% new oak, was assessed over a period of 24 hours. It has a magnificent nose, replete with intense black currant, crushed violet and vanilla-y scents, the latter becoming subsumed with modest aeration. These aromas are chiseled to the nth degree and as harmonious as the Everly Brothers. The palate is, to use the phrase I employed out of barrel, quintessential Pétrus. The tannins are less grainy and lend this Pétrus a beguiling satiny veneer that is irresistible. Deep and gently gripping in the mouth, it has retained the clarity and pixelation I noted in barrel. The stunning tension and cohesion toward the finish will leave you with a Cheshire Cat grin plastered all over your face. I maintain that this is among Olivier Berrouet’s finest Pétrus to date. Drink 2024-2060.
Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Deep ruby colour. Sweetly fragrant with violet, cherry blossom and riper, fuller summer pudding tones. The palate shows more dark fruit in a muscular profile of persistent tannins. This is a powerful wine, highly refined but dense and built to age. There is ample fruit, but this needs time to unfurl with bottle age. Very good bones underneath suggest this will become one of the wine of the vintage in time.
This wine leaves me speechless. It has so much intensity and density with fantastic ripe fruit with spices, dark berries and walnuts and hazelnuts Currants and licorice. Violets and earth. Full-bodied, very, very tannic yet polished and beautiful. Lasts forever on the palate. Reminds me of the great 1998.
Tasted blind. Very dark. Glowing shaded crimson. Intense, distinctive, concentrated. Peppery note on the complex nose. Voluptuous texture. Almost impossible to spit out. Rich.
Drink 2028 – 2050
The 2018 Petrus is a brilliant wine that has perfection written all over it, and it’s unquestionably one of the most powerful, opulent wines in the vintage. As always, it’s 100% Merlot and offers a heavenly bouquet of cassis, smoke, earth, graphite, and beautiful liquid violets. Full-bodied, deep, and opulent on the palate, I must have written “huge wine!” three or four times in my notes, and despite all its power and richness, it’s seamless, light on its feet, and already hard to resist. Possessing terrific mid-palate depth, sweet tannins, and a finish that ranks with the greatest wines out there, Merlot or any wine for that matter, doesn’t get better. If you’re lucky enough to have a few bottles of this elixir, do your best to give bottles 7-8 years in the cellar, and I suspect it will keep for 40-50 years.
(100 Merlot) | 50% new oak | 14.5% alc | 37 hl/ha | Harvested between 13th September – 27th September Pétrus director Olivier Berrouet explained that the berries at harvest were tiny - 1.1-1.2g each! They carried out eight picks over two weeks and then long and gentle winemaking was key to making a great wine. They knew the wines were powerful but the challenge was to control this power and to preserve elegance and length. The quality of tannins in 2018 Pétrus is incredible. It is thanks to these tannins that there is remarkable freshness on finish of this wine. Dark, dense and powerful, but super-controlled at every step of the way, this is an extraordinary wine. Brooding, deep, profound and inky are all words that I noted down when I tasted this wine. What was amazing was that I didn’t list any words that suggest fruit sweetness. Instead I focussed on the savoury notes, extraordinary length and complete composure and this means that this is a truly classic vintage for this noble wine.
The 2018 Pétrus, which was matured in 50% new oak, is deep purple in colour. Allowing my glass 10 to 15 minutes to open, it has a very pure and almost Burgundian bouquet with precise, almost pixelated blackcurrant, bilberry and shucked oyster shell aromas. This is quintessential Pétrus, perhaps more so than previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and a silver bead of acidity. A little grainier in terms of texture than recent vintages, a trait that I really appreciate, it is endowed with layers of crystalline black fruit, crushed stone, pressed iris flowers and tangible mineralité towards the finish, a residue of spiciness on the persistent aftertaste. There is a sense of classicism about this Pétrus, in my opinion, one of best that Olivier Berrouet has conjured. 2024-2060
Very deep purple-black colored, the 2018 Petrus is a little slow to reveal itself, opening out to beautiful floral notions of violets, red roses and lavender with emerging scents of blueberry compote, powdered cinnamon, star anise, fragrant earth and unsmoked cigars plus nuances of black tea, cardamom, rose hips, iron ore and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied, the palate builds very slowly in the mouth, growing to a crescendo of black and blue fruit with an aria of earth and exotic spice accents, finishing with the most amazing perfume, all draped in super plush, seductive tannins, ending with just enough freshness to make the beguiling flavor waves go on and on. Big, bold and opulent yet with fantastic muscle and energy, this timeless 2018 is nothing short of mind blowing.