Hosted at Helene Darroze’s three Michelin-star restaurant, the French chef — who famously inspired the Ratatouille movie character Colette — will serve an extravagant five-course menu alongside vintages from 2015 down to 1990.
After canapes and “Kristal” caviar from Thousand Islets Lakes in China — each paired with champagne and white burgundy — the menu will first see a sweetbread dish matched with two varieties of Pétrus, first 2015, then 2009.
Cornish red mullet, Welsh grouse, and “seasonal” Basque cheeses will follow, each paired with a pomerol of advancing years, running from 2007, to 2000, to 1990. Bottles of each fetch thousands, while the 1990, one of the best years on record in French winemaking, could reach six figures at auction.
Pétrus has long been regarded as one of the world’s rarest and most-sought-after wines, though compared to the likes of Lafite, its fame is new. The vineyard only started gaining notoriety around 50 years ago when the châteaux, in Pomerol, Bordeaux, was bought by the Moueix family, who unleashed its potential.
The red wine is made on an 11.4 hectare vineyard in the highest part of Pomerol. It is planted with 95 per cent Merlot, a grape strangely derided in the cult American film Sideways, perhaps because so much Merlot, particularly that made in California, tastes like being hit by a car.
According to the plus-three centuries old London wine shop Berry Bros. & Rudd, the vines are unusually old and are only replanted after they reach 70 years of age.
“The grapes are hand harvested only in the afternoon, when the morning dew has evaporated, so as not to risk even the slightest dilution of quality,” the shop’s wine experts told the Standard.
“Pétrus is extraordinarily rich, powerful and concentrated, often with characteristics of chocolates, truffles, Asian spices and ultra-ripe, creamy, black fruits. Petrus is usually approachable after a decade or so in bottle, but the wines from the very greatest years will continue improving.”
At the launch of Mark Wahlberg’s now-closed burger restaurant in Covent Garden, the Hollywood star paraded around carrying a magnum of the wine, pouring out glasses to a handful of lucky guests.
Brooklyn Beckham, for whom food is a “passion,” revealed this year that Petrus is his favourite wine, sharing a photo of bottles from 2015 and 1979. The latter was not an especially good year.
The Connaught, 16 Carlos Place, W1K 2AL, the-connaught.co.uk