Penfolds releases £100,000 wine

Penfolds is releasing its Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 in a hand-blown glass ampoule, at a price of around £100,000.

There are only 12 produced, each individually numbered and each ampoule holds the equivalent of one 750ml bottle.

The wine was unveiled at a special dinner in Moscow earlier this week at luxurious mansion/restaurant, the Cristal Room Baccarat.

In a unique twist when the owner decides to open their ampoule, a Penfolds winemaking team will attend the opening.

Penfolds explained, “When a decision is made to open the ampoule a senior member of the Penfolds winemaking team will personally attend a special opening ceremony for the owner – essentially your very own master-class.

“The winemaker will travel to the destination of choice, where the ampoule will be ceremoniously removed from its glass plumb-bob casing and opened using a specially designed, tungsten-tipped, sterling silver scribe-snap. The winemaker will then prepare the wine using a beautifully crafted sterling silver tastevin.”

One of the 12 ampoules – No.1 – has been placed in Penfolds’ museum and another is thought to be already assigned to a customer in Singapore, leaving 10 ampoules remaining.

Prominent Australian designer-maker Hendrik Forster prepared all the precious metal detailing. Furniture craftsman Andrew Bartlett designed and made the bespoke Jarrah cabinet, where the ampoule is suspended.

The scientific-grade ampoule, designed to store the wine in an ideal environment, and encased within the glass sculpture, was created by veteran scientific glassblower Ray Leake.

Penfolds’ chief winemaker Peter Gago said, “Behind every Penfolds wine is the joy, energy, research and science that shapes it. The ampoule project is typical of the pioneering philosophy behind Penfolds’ winemaking evolution. The collaboration with South Australia’s finest artists has been a fitting tribute for one of South Australia’s finest wines.”

The RRP will be around AU$168,000, which is the equivalent of £100,000.

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