Sunday, November 6, 2022

LeDomduVin: Petrus 1995 or Petrus 1995?

Petrus 1995 or Petrus 1995

Find the mistakes... 😁👍🍷

This photo was taken about a year ago. I found it while sorting through my photos, so I no longer have the bottles or the corks to re-check unfortunately. 

I served these two bottles for a dinner, from a private cellar, so probably acquired separately, and no other bottles of Petrus 1995, so no choice. Forced to serve these two, side by side. 

The label on the left seems fake to me (paper lines, details, print quality, etc...) and it is placed/positioned too high on the bottle (and Petrus has a specific positioning of its labels on the bottle). On the other hand, the cork seems correct to me (as a whole), but the font of the vintage is the same as on the label, which could make me say that the cork is also fake. 

The label on the right is correct and seems to me to be genuine. Its position, (lower on the bottle), seems correct to me too, corresponding more to the usual Petrus label position on the bottle. On the other hand, the cork seems to me to be fake in the details and more especially the font of the vintage and the fact that it is in italics. 

  • Left: fake label, but real cork (or not?) 
  • Right: true label, but false cap 
In the end, both may be fake... 

And there was also a noticeable difference in taste between the two. 

However, you should understand that I do not want to go too much into all the details, as it would help the counterfeiters. Certain things are better left unsaid. 😁👍🍷🍷🍷

When I posted this post on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages, (prior to posting here on my blog, as I do for most of my posts on this blog), a Bordeaux producer/Negociant, that for him, the vintage in italics could be correct? It seems surprising to me, as I never encountered a Petrus cork with the vintage in italic on it, but after all, why not? 

Even after 31 years of buying, selling, and serving Petrus, including the last 10 years as a Wine Quality Control Director, detecting fake bottles during physical inspections amongst all the bottles we purchased as my primary role, I thought that I had seen it all, but apparently not, as there are still things I don't understand about their labels and corks. 

The problem of finding different labels and corks, for the same vintage of Petrus, lies in the fact that: 

1. The market is filled with really good fake bottles that more difficult to spot, which is not surprising when you realize the price speculation on some of these bottles in specific vintages, as well as the growing market of full and empty bottles sold on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Carousell, and other websites. 

PS: I personally always make sure to deface the labels and break the bottles of all the expensive bottles I served and used, more especially the ones with the name engraved on the bottle, like Petrus, Haut-Brion, etc... (watch my video on YouTube here) 

2. And, the known fact that Petrus has used (and maybe still uses) different printers and labels and corks, depending on the vintages and time of the release of the different batches of the same vintage. Otherwise, I don't see how to explain all these differences between genuine bottles of the same vintage, coming from the property and/or from the Bordeaux Negociants directly. 

This could come as a surprise for some of you, but it is true. Chateaux in Bordeaux, like most wine producers, keep a stash of bottles, each vintage: some to be kept within the Chateau's wine library for records and historical purposes;  the rest to be released in batches, later on, a few years later (2, 5, 10, 15 years later or more) understandably to ensure public interest, supply, and demand, releasing their wine usually at a much-increased price than the original "En-Primeur" release.    

If the various releases of their wine spawn over 2 or 3 decades, the problem is that they may not necessarily use the original printer, label, or cork design. More especially, if the chateau has changed ownership, and/or has changed the label and cork design.  And, despite being one of the most famous and expensive wines in the world, Petrus does not escape this reality either.

For example, for the 1995 vintage, in the picture above, the wine may have been released "En Primeur" in 1997, then 5 or 10 years later in small batches with a slightly different label and/or cork design. It is said that label and cork design may also occur depending on which market the bottles are destinated to (i.e. Europe, US, Asia, etc...). 

All these factors make for bad inconsistency depending mostly on the Chateau team's internal management and decisions, and obviously the time of the release of the batches, and it is a real "casse-tête" for wine buyers and wine quality control directors who have difficulties figuring out which bottle is real or not sometimes.  

Fortunately, most Chateaux in Bordeaux (and elsewhere) are more consistent with their label and cork design, making it less difficult to understand, yet easier for counterfeiters to create fake ones.  

And fortunately again, over my 31 years of career in the wine business, buying, selling, and serving most of the top wines in the world, including Petrus (which is one of my favorite wines), I have learned how to differentiate and spot the fakes from the real ones. Which is a good thing as, despite my profound respect for the Moueix Family and Olivier Berouet, all my emails to the estate (as Petrus is not a "Chateau"), over the last 10-15 years, have remained unanswered.  

Fight the grey market and the counterfeiters by 
  • always buying genuine bottles, in good condition and from good provenance, either directly at the property (when possible) and/or via official wine merchants, like the "Place de Bordeaux" (courtiers/négociants), which predominantly sell "Ex-Chateau" wines.      
  • defacing the label and/or breaking the bottles of all expensive and well-known brands that have a certain value in both the regular and the grey market.  

Meanwhile, as always, take good care of yourself and your loved ones, and drink responsibly.   

Cheers! Santé! 


#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #petrus @petrus #pomerol #bordeaux #findthemistakes #findtheerrors #findthedifferences #game #fake #counterfeit #bottles #winebottles #winel

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

No comments:

Post a Comment