Making a Spectacular of Petrus
I don´t know if you caught the back end of this story, or not, but thanks to the genius of our famed Pomerol estate, Petrus, and with the useful collaboration of DHL (Delivering Hopelesly & Lightly) and NASA (Nice Attitude & Sensible Attire). Just last year, between both companies, they managed to ship 12 bottles (75cl) of the famous 2000 vintage Petrus off into space. The case of twelve 75cl bottles apparently spent a whole year and a bit, all unbroken & unopened by drooling Astronauts, orbiting our Earth on the ISS (International Space Station) before returning to Earth last January 2021, this year. Oh la la! did they forget the corkscrew? or do they only drink beer?
Now, I don´t know about you but when we do ship Earthly wine orders around this lovely world of ours with DHL, both from our offices in Buenos Aires or from the very reliable London City Bond in Burton On Trent (Postcode: DE14 1RY), it can indeed & sometimes does take a while to arrive at it’s destination and at an expense of course, especially when DHL are involved. I have just done the costing with DHL for sending 12 bottles of red wine ex LCB VT to Lunar Maria and this is what the numbers look like:
1 package/case (20kgs) of Still Red Wine (12 x 75cl x alc%:14) Petrus 2000 collected from LCB VT and delivered to the Moon, would set you back GBP999.440.00 excluding insurance + 20% VAT (before Brexit this would of course be considered as an export order, tax free).
Tomorrow, 21 June 2021, our lovely Bordeaux wine princess, Jane Anson, will be opening, and tasting, one of these Lunar bottles during the evening. It came back to Earth at the beginning of this year and landed safely this week at 67 Pall Mall. The canister was de-pressurized, the bottle removed and once the cork is drawn we will get to hear her description of how the wine actually tastes. Did it make any difference at all? the long, airless journey.
Now, back in 2012, R.P. Junior gave the Petrus 2000 his famous perfect score of 100 points and found it to be pretty good stuff:
‘A prodigious Petrus, this wine has that extra level of intensity and complexity that is monumental. The magic is clearly Petrus, and the 2000 will always be an interesting vintage to compare to another legend in the making, the 1998, or more recently, of course, the 2005, 2008, and 2009.
Extremely full-bodied, with great fruit purity, an unmistakable note of underbrush, black truffle, intense black cherries, licorice, and mulberry, the wine seems to show no evidence of oak whatsoever. It has a sumptuous, unctuous texture, plenty of tannin, but also vibrancy and brightness.
This is a remarkable wine that seems slightly more structured and massive than the 1998, which comes across as slightly more seamless, as if it were haute couture.’ This wine needs at least another 5-10 years of cellaring, on this Earth, and should age well for 50+ years.
Please read Jane’s note here, below, taken down by me live off the launch-pad screen here in Cape Buenos Aires. ”Three, two, one, and we have lift oRFF” SOMETHING WENT WRONG. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER.
It turns out that these Astro-Petrus 2000 spent a total of 14 months in space. Now, Jane has been lucky enough to taste Petrus 2000 on several previous occasions so is well versed as to wether there are any changes, weaknesses or benefits of a wine taking such a long, gravity-less journey. She took with her, to this tasting, a bottle from Earth to taste along side the inbound bottle. ‘The Earth wine was exactly how you would expect it to taste’ she said. ‘The space wine was delicious but perhaps two to three years more evolved. There where more floral aromatics and the tannins were a bit softer and more evolved. I just tasted one bottle from the space station so I cannot guarantee there isn’t bottle variation’. Summing up, the tasters present, unanimously considered both wines to be great, and despite the 14 month stay in space, the wine was very well evaluated sensorially. The Space team chose the Petrus 2000 based on Oenological criteria including the need for a structured wine dominated by one grape variety, in this case of course, Merlot. They purchased this stock to go to space from a local Bordeaux negociant, and it would, or dare I say should have set them back close to U$D60.000 for their efforts.
“That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind, and ‘nil-pwoint’ for 2000 Petrus going to the moon and back” W.P.H.