Petit Village can trace its roots to the 18th century but became quite known, when family Dufresne (vintners) from Libourne, purchased it after the French revolution (1799). In 1919, a well known Bordeaux negociant, Fernand Ginestet, already the owner of Cos d'Estournel and Chateau Margaux, bought Petit Village. Because of bad times financially in the 1970s, Ginestets were forced to sell Petit Village and the buyer was Bruno Prats in 1970, who also bought Cos d'Estournel in the same year. In 1989, Bruno Prats sold Petit Village to an insurance company, AXA Millesimes.
There is 10.5 ha of vines, planted with 78% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. 60% new oak + 40% one-year-old barrels are used and the wine stays there for 15 months.
Petit Village was for many decades an underperforming property making hit and run vintages. Excellent and mediocre. No consistency at all. It was strange and not understandable since it's obviously known that this property is located at the best part of Pomerol, the so-called "Le Plateau Argileux" just outside the village of Catusseau. Its neighbours are La Conseillante, Hosanna, Le Pin and La Croix St.Georges.
"Le Plateau Argileux" is only 900 meters broad, 40 meters above sea level and has a shape of a circle. The soil here is mostly clay with stony rock subsoil containing huge amount of iron oxide. All the best properties in Pomerol are situated inside this circle.
When Diana Berrouet-Garcia, sister-in-law of Olivier Berrouet (technical director at Petrus), arrived at Petit Village in summer 2015, succeeding technical director Marielle Cazaux, who moved over to La Conseillante same year, not so many thought that better times were coming quickly at this property.
She immediately introduced a rigorous selection of the grapes in both vineyards and at sorting table starting with 2015 harvest, each plot was vinified separately and only grapes from old vines went to make Grand Vin. With one "touch" the quality of wine jumped up significantly and 2015 vintage's marked a new era for this property. The following vintages 2016, 2017 and 2018 confirmed with a vengeance that the progress made at Petit Village with much more precision and focus in vinification has been maintained!
At the beginning of 2020, AXA Millesimes sold Petit Village to a consortium already owning Beauregard in Pomerol. It's been said that the present staff at Petit Village won't be changed for the time being.
Wines tasted in April 2019 and winemaker since 2015, Diana Garcia-Berrouet
2018 (barrel sample) 96p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2019. Consistent notes. 14.3% alcohol. 72% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very powerful and at the same time graceful, stylish, deep and long, finesse, refinement and sophisticated touch. This is a real thrill and probably the best wine made here in the last 50 years!!
2017 (barrel sample) 95p
Tasted three times - last time in September 2018. Consistent notes. This property delivered a true heartbreaker wine with silky fruit and tannin, velvety structure, pure elegance and finesse.
Tasted three times - last time in April 2019. Consistent notes. Very focused and precise, very aromatic, deep and long, elegant, sensual and seductive, complete. Covered by cashmere. Simply awesome wine!
Tasted four times - last time in September 2017. Consistent notes. 71% Merlot + 20% Cabernet Franc + 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. So distinguished, so rich. An utterly expressive and impressive wine.
Tasted twice - last time in September 2017. Consistent notes. Potent, fruity, crisp, well-structured, fine acidity, firm aftertaste. Fine effort.
2012 (barrel sample) 91p
Tasted in April 2013. This property had undergone a massive upgrading of cellar facilities, improvements in vineyard and more precise winemaking. A new technical manager was appointed in May 2012 (Marielle Cazaux) and she was determined to bring Petit Village quickly step up in quality. Well made with fine aromatic black cherries on nose and palate, silky texture, fine backbone and fine balance.
Tasted in September 2013. Better ripeness, concentration, structure and length on the palate compared to 2005 vintage. Fatter and riper tannins too. Great complexity, depth and lingering finish. Great exploitation of vintage's potential. Excellent effort by all means.
Tasted in September 2013. Lightly textured, the scent of truffles on the nose, very nicely composed and smooth, but not 100% ripe fruit and tannin. This property should have done a lot better in this easy to make vintage.
Tasted twice - last time in September 2010. Not consistent notes. When tasted in August 2006, it was deep red and had an aromatic and catchy nose of ripe berries, was luscious on the palate with finesse and elegance. This wine showed more age in September 2010 with truffles and tannin starting to take over control in this wine.
Tasted in October 2017. Frankly, I didn't expect so thrilling wine! Fresh and tight, the aroma of dark chocolate, truffles, concentrated fruit with catchy sweetness, great balance, silkiness, refined and with a long aftertaste. Big surprise and confirmation of that if everything went right in the vineyard and cellar, then this property could produce excellent wine. It outlasted 1988 and 1964 Certan de May tasted on the same occasion.
Tasted in November 2019. Unknown bottling, probably Bordeaux negociant one. Surprisingly well-preserved and vivid. Of course, this vintage has an excellent reputation but Petit Village wasn't that stable at that time. However, absolutely no complaints here, for this wine was deliciously fruity, elegant and attractive, well-balanced with finesse and smooth fruity finish. Impressive stuff.