So, I work for a restaurant that has a temperature controlled wine cellar. Once a year we have a "Spring Cleaning" sale and offer a selection of our wines at a dollar above wholesale. It's all wine that we think is in its prime, ready to drink...to make space and clear up some funds for buying for the summer. It's a great event. But we have one bottle of 1979 Petrus that's going on the list this year, and I feel a little conflicted about offering it. From what I've read, Right Bank Bordeaux from 1979 is in decline, and the bottle is leaking. Should we go ahead and sell it anyway?
I'm guessing you would offer that bottle of wine for a great price. I would list it, if someone is interested in it, then mention the condition. You have the opportunity to make someone's night incredibly memorable with this bottle. Plus it's almost more about the name than the wine when it comes to Petrus. Or make it a staff training. Don't wait too long though, I had a Vieux Chateau Certan from 1979 recently with high ullage and it was still good, on it's last leg, but still good.
And I tasted a 78 Petrus last night that was very good.
If the ullage is good, it should be fine. Mid shoulder would be more typical, but top shoulder would be ideal. I haven't opened a Petrus, but I have opened a lot of old bottles and it's not uncommon for seepage to happen - some producers are notorious for this (I'm looking at you, Leroy). In the end, you've got a lovely gamble here ... either it's good, and your customer just got a great treat, or it's not good, and alas, you open up another bottle of wine and toast our fallen friend.
In reply to Martin Beally:
When is this sale happening, and how early do you expect one would have to get in line for it?