Although the wines of Pomerol have never been classified, Pétrus is widely regarded as the outstanding wine of the appellation by consensus, and leads a duo of Pomerol estates of extreme prices, along with Le Pin, that in the modern era are consistently among the world's most expensive wines.
Originally a 7-hectare (17-acre) vineyard, the estate was owned by the Arnaud family since the middle of the 18th Century, and the name first appears in records from 1837. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Arnaud family founded La Société Civile du Château Pétrus, which offered shares in the company to the public. Around 1925, the owner of the Hôtel Loubat in Libourne, the widow Mme. Edmond Loubat, began to buy shares in the estate and continued the acquisition progressively until 1949, when she was the sole owner of the domaine.
According to David Peppercorn, "the great age of Pétrus" began with the end of World War II and the successful 1945 vintage. Jean-Pierre Moueix of the Libourne négociant house Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix acquired exclusive selling rights of Pétrus in that year and the international reputation of Pétrus began to grow. Mme. Loubat, who also owned Château Latour à Pomerol, remained an active vigneronne throughout her life, known for her meticulous dedication to detail and quality, and strong determination that her wine deserved to be priced equal to the great crus.
In the following years the efficient partnership with Moueix became prosperous. Pétrus became introduced in the United States, and the wine was served at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947. Mme. Loubat later presented a case of Pétrus to Buckingham Palace for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The vineyard of Pétrus extends 11.4 hectares (28 acres) and is located on a plateau in the eastern portion of Pomerol. The grape variety distribution is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.
Located on top of a 20-hectare (49-acre) island mound, the Petrus boutonnière or buttonhole, the topsoil and the subsoil beneath Pétrus' original vineyards consists of a high percentage of iron-rich clay termed crasse de fer, that differs from neighbouring vineyards where the soil is a mixture of gravel-sand or clay-sand. The 1969 land acquisition .....
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With thanks to Jeff Leve from http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com, for the invaluable information