An incredible Pomerol wine
Petrus (or "Château Pétrus" as it was called a few hundred years ago) is a wine estate created around 1770. At that time, Petrus and its 7 hectares of vineyard (100% Merlot grapes, growing on a pebbles and blue clay soil) were the property of Antoine Arnaud’s family. The wine produced was known as "Petrus-Arnaud". The name "Petrus" is said to be a reference to the Latin name used for Saint Peter, the guardian of the holy gates of Heaven. This explains why you can find his portrait, holding the holy keys in his hands, on the label of every bottle of Petrus wine.
Petrus fame began in 1770, but the locality was already well-known for the quality of its wines since the 12th century. They even were the favorites of King Philip II of France (1180-1223). During the 18th and 19th century, the reputation of the estate grew more and more, until it was considered to be (unofficially) the best Pomerol wine around. Of course, its price was raised accordingly to its newfound popularity. And Petrus was not even part of the official 1855 Bordeaux wines classification!
In 1917, Petrus' former manager, Mr. Sabin-Douarre, bought the Château Petrus from the Arnaud family. Then, in 1923, Marie-Louise Loubat (a hotel owner from Libourne, who was also known as "Edmonde Loubat") bought a few shares of the Petrus business. A few years later, in 1945, the same year an exceptional post-war Petrus cuvée was released, Marie-Louise became the owner of the entire estate.The buyout was announced to the public, on the bottles' labels, as they now displayed the added mention "Mme Edmond Loubat - Propriétaire à Pomerol".
Since 1940, the Château Pétrus has lost its "château" as well as its apostrophe, to simply become "Petrus". In 1947, Mrs. Loubat entered a partnership with Jean-Pierre Moueix. He was a successful wine merchant from Libourne, to which she gave exclusive rights to the commercialization of the Petrus brand. Together, they worked tirelessly to develop the communication and the image of the estate, especially abroad. After a while, their efforts paid off and Petrus reached the level of the biggest wines of the Médoc region. Of course, prices skyrocketed. Petrus was so famous that it even was the favorite wine of John F. Kennedy (former US president) and Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Marie-Louise died in 1961, leaving the Petrus wine estate in the hands of her nephew and niece: Jean-Louis Robert Lignac and Lily Lacoste. They sold all their shares of the business to the Moueix family in 1969. The patriarch, Jean-Pierre Moueix, added a few hectares to the existing vineyard (from 7 to 11,5 hectares in total). In 2003, Jean-Pierre passed away and his two sons, Jean-François (who was the manager of the Duclot Group) and Christian, took the helm. Jean, Jean-François' son, even became CEO in 2014. The Moueix family allied itself with Alejandro Santo Domingo, an American businessman in 2018. They offered a 20% share of the company. Today, Petrus has an output of 30,000 bottles per year. The wine is in the top 10 of the most expensive wines in the world and it's also one of the favorites of famous wine critic Robert Parker.
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