Penfolds (www.penfolds.com.au), the South Australia (www.southaustralia.com) based winery, has released what is said to be the world's most expensive wine, selling for a staggering £109,000 (AUD$168,000) per bottle. Just 12 specially designed, hand-blown glass ampoules of the 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon have been produced.
The celebrated wine, which was unveiled at a dinner for wine collectors in Moscow this month (July 2012), is only released in stellar vintages and is made from the fruit of what is thought to be the oldest continuously-producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world.
Designed to provide the optimum environment for the rare, single-vineyard wine, the exclusive, limited edition ampoules have no cork or screw cap and can only be opened by snapping off the tip using bespoke cutting equipment. This in turn means that a senior Penfolds' winemaker will travel anywhere in the world, together with a unique tungsten-tipped, sterling silver scribe-snap, to open and decant the wine for any buyer wishing to drink the fine South Australian vintage.
Penfolds also joined forces with four leading South Australian artisans to create the distinctive handmade vessels: (link to video; 'The Making of the Penfolds Ampoule')
Glass sculpture artist Nick Mount was responsible for the designScientific glass blower Ray Leake was responsible for the production
The silver bands and cap were made by silversmith Hendrik Forster
Furniture craftsman Andrew Bartlett created the display cabinet in jarrah wood
Peter Gago, Chief Winemaker at Penfolds, said: "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."