Would you pay $176,000 for a bottle of wine? One Australian wine maker thinks so. Penfolds has released its most expensive offering to date, a hand-crafted vessel for its 2004 cabernet sauvignon.
The Wall Street Journal breaks it down the four parts of the 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon (and what makes it so pricy): an "airtight hand-blown glass ampoule" (or a tube-shaped vial) to hold the wine, a hand-blown glass plumb bob to suspend the ampoule, a timber cabinet with special metal detailing to hold it all, and of course, the wine itself. (Check the WSJ to see the complicated device for yourself.) The device is so complicated that Penfolds even sends out a senior winemaker to open the aupoule and prepare the wine to be served. To open it, he has to crack it with a "tungsten-tipped sterling-silver scribe-snap," similar to a cigar cutter. Four craftsmen from Australia made each component, making only 12 in total. Said Peter Gago, chief winemaker at Penfolds to the WSJ, the complicated device is like a time capsule.
So what makes the contents of this "time capsule" so unique? The wine is made from grapes from what's believed to be the oldest continual cabernet sauvignon vine in the world. The wine has earned top reviews from Wine Spectator and wine critic James Suckling, who gave it 100 out of 100. As for the taste, it's perfumed with "layer upon layer of flavor." Gago also said it has a "saturated blackness on the palate."
Sounds outrageously expensive? Not to the 10 people who have already purchased the bottle. Only one bottle is left for the public to buy; you can apply to purchase the bottle for your home collection. (We can only imagine it's as tough as a college application.) This far outranks any outrageous wine purchase we've seen.