Twelve bottles of Petrus 2000 returned safely from their adventure in space, before being flown to Bordeaux for analysis.
Their voyage was part of a research project led by start-up Space Cargo Unlimited and also involving the University of Bordeaux’s wine institute, the ISVV.
The identity of the bottles has been a closely guarded secret, but Space Cargo Unlimited confirmed yesterday, that it chose Petrus 2000 for the mission.
An initial tasting hosted by the ISVV in March saw 12 tasters get 30ml samples of the space and earth wines.
‘The earth wine was exactly how you would expect it to taste,’ said Jane Anson.
She said that the wine sample was delicious but was perhaps two to three years more evolved.
‘There were more floral aromatics and the tannins were a bit softer and more evolved,’ she said, but added, ‘I just tasted one bottle from the space station, so I can’t guarantee there isn’t bottle variation.’
Professor Philippe Darriet, of the ISVV’s oenology research unit, said in a summary of the tasting:
‘Unanimously, the two wines were considered to be great wines, which means that despite the 14-month stay on the international space station, the “space wine” was very well evaluated sensorially.’
He said the panel identified some differences in smell and taste, as well as color, but that these varied according to each taster’s ‘sensitivity’.
Samples of the wines were due to undergo chemical analysis in addition to tastings, to allow researchers to explore variations.
Darriet said the team hoped to publish findings in an international scientific journal.
Space Cargo Unlimited was keen to highlight that it didn’t involve Château Petrus in its choice of which wine to send into orbit.
A bottle of Petrus 2000 had a global average retail price of $6,488.
Source: The Decanter