• Two 12-bottle lots of Petrus 2003 sell for $20,825 each
  • Petrus 1996 case of 12 attains $19,600 in benchmark auction

A collection of 27 bottles of Petrus from Bordeaux’s Pomerol region spanning vintages from 1964 to 2010 went under the hammer for $46,550 at Christie’s in New York on Friday, making it the top lot in a $1.63 million wine sale.

Demand for Petrus at auction has remained buoyant in recent years, partly because of its rarity value. Petrus only produces about 30,000 bottles a year, according to Cocks et Feret, a Bordeaux wine publisher, barely a tenth of the production of larger estates.

Two 12-bottle lots of Petrus 2003 sold for $20,825 each while 12 bottles of the 1996 wine fetched $19,600, according to results posted on Christie’s website. Twelve bottles of Petrus 1988 fetched $17,150 while 10 bottles of its 1967 vintage went for $13,475. Wines in the top-priced lot from 1989, 1990, 2000, 2009 and 2010 achieved a perfect score from U.S. critic Robert Parker, according to his website.

Petrus in Bordeaux’s Pomerol district produces one of the region’s most expensive wines.
Petrus in Bordeaux’s Pomerol district produces one of the region’s most expensive wines.
Photo: Guy Collins/Bloomberg News

Parker described the 2010 Petrus in a February 2013 tasting note as “a monster in the making” and “stunningly rich, full-bodied and more tannic and classic than the 2009.” He said it “should last at least another 50 or more” years.

Petrus comes from a vineyard of about 28 acres on predominantly clay soil and is planted with 95 percent merlot vines, according to the website of London wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd. They are only replanted after they reach 70 years of age and grapes are fermented in cement vats, and then the wine is aged in new oak barrels for up to 28 months, according to Berry Bros.

Other Bordeaux in the sale included 12 bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2000 and eight bottles of Chateau Latour 1959. They both sold for $17,150 per lot.

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