There was no frost here, but they still had to contend with 100mm of rain at the end of June, then one-third of regular rainfall over July and August, then rain again in September. The young vines were more affected by drought, but the older vines had to be left for a few weeks to digest the early September rains. As you might expect, we don't need to worry unduly about winemaker Olivier Berrouet's ability to handle it - but you can certainly see that he had to make a number of careful choices. The harvest, for example, was from 8-28 September - a long spread for such a small vineyard, but they needed to be really careful and work plot by plot. The resulting wine has an extremely powerful nose; the aromatics are high and very complex. On the palate I get dark chocolate, slate, liquorice and damson flesh, giving a dense, compact structure followed by a floral finish. It's fresh and complex, with notable spice. The tannins are deceptive, building over the palate to a fairly tannic finish, and it's very persistent, not a large step down from the last two years, even if it's not quite at their heights. Higher alcohol than most this year, but well balanced.
Extremely aromatic already with lavender, violets, mulberries and lots of ripe fruit. Very generous in terms of fruit but this remains tight and compacted with long, powerful tannins. They are strong and frame a muscular and racy Petrus, but everything remains in harmony and balance.
The 2017 Petrus is deep garnet-purple in color and opens with incredible notes of preserved plums, baked blueberries and cherry compote with nuances of hoisin, violets, lilacs, licorice and exotic spices - a very open-knit, flamboyant and atypical Petrus barrel sample! The palate is medium to full-bodied, rich, plush and decadent with a firm frame and layers upon layers of perfume and spices on the very long finish.
The 2017 Pétrus was tasted on two occasions just over one week apart, the second on 9 April being significantly different to the first. My note comes from the second and as usual I afforded the sample 10 minutes to open. It has an expressive bouquet that is slightly confit in style with red cherry, blackberry, black truffle and light iris scents, all detailed and focused. The bouquet needs less encouragement to open than the previous two vintages. The palate is extremely well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, fresh and vivacious from the very start. At its core lies a mixture of red and black fruit laced with black truffle and cracked black pepper, a discrete spiciness towards the velvety finish and then modest salinity lingering on the aftertaste. It is the second reading that attested to the serious side of this Pétrus and its cerebral side. I found more grip and linearity, clearly more complexity and less fatness towards the finish and I anticipate that these facets will become more accentuated as it develops in barrel. Whilst not the greatest Pétrus that I have tasted out of barrel, Olivier Berrouet has fashioned an almost mercurial and beguiling Pomerol.