A bottle of French wine Petrus vintage 2000 that spent 14 months in space was put up for sale by the auction house Sotheby’s, which estimated its price at $1 million dollars. The bottle is part of a batch of 12 sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2019. If its sale price approaches or reaches the estimate in a private sale, it will be the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold.
According to Agence France-Press, tests conducted by 12 wine professionals and scientists from the University of Bordeaux’s Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences showed that Petrus remains “a great wine” after its stay in space. After a blind tasting, they noted, however, “remarkable” differences in color, aroma and taste between the celestial and terrestrial versions.
After spending 440 days in space, or the equivalent of 300 trips to the moon, the legendary Petrus Bordeaux wine returns after literally being transformed into something out of this worldNicolas Gaume, co-founder and president of Space Cargo Unlimited
This is the first time that the ISS has transported a wine into space and aged it in a controlled environment as part of six experiments by the new European company Space Cargo Limited, which is researching the future of agriculture and food on Earth. Proceeds from the sale will go to fund upcoming space missions focused on agriculture.
The “space” Petrus is offered in a secret safe handmade in France by Les Ateliers Victor, which required 900 hours of work. The bottle is hidden behind a Jules Verne-inspired solar system, and the box opens with a mechanism linked to the Star Trek universe. It is accompanied by another bottle of “terrestrial” Petrus, a corkscrew made from a meteorite, glasses and a decanter.
The record for the world’s most expensive bottle is held by a 1945 vintage Romanée-Conti from Burgundy, sold for $558,000 at Sotheby’s in New York in 2018. The Petrus will not be auctioned but will be the subject of a private sale. Through this operation the price and the buyer are not disclosed unless the latter authorizes it.
The Château Petrus winery that produces this single varietal Merlot wine is located in the Bordeaux region, in the Pomerol appellation. A classic bottle of Petrus 2000, considered a great vintage, sells today for about $5,500 according to the website Wine.com.
This specialized website describes it as a wine with a huge body, unctuous, with “aromas of smoke, blackberries, cherries, licorice and unmistakable undertones of truffles and underbrush, more massive and macho, masculine, with more obvious tannins and structure” than other Petrus from previous vintages.