Known for taking Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forging a reputation of quality that is without peer, one of Australia’s oldest wineries and a company brand with an extensive product range, Penfolds now celebrates the provenance of truly extraordinary wine and its spirit of innovation and experimentation with the release of a limited edition glass Ampoule. Containing 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon, a rare wine in a truly distinctive format, the specially packed red wine Ampoule has a recommended retail price of $168,000, making it one of the most expensive Australian wines. We have also earlier seen some of the most expensive wines, besides the recent sale of rare Domaine Romanée-Conti for $105,000.
Described to be the ultimate reflection of winemaking heritage, innovation, artistic collaboration delivering a ground breaking work of art encapsulating a rare and significant wine, the Penfolds Ampoule is not only a compelling work of fine art, but it also provides a truly memorable sensory engagement. Its clearest distinction is its bottle, described as an ‘Ampoule’ or a sealed glass capsule, with a wooden box. The 2004 Kalimna Block 42 cabernet sauvignon has been presented in a limited-release, hand blown glass ampoule which is suspended with a wooden Jarrah cabinet.
Penfolds 2004 Block 42 is however a rare, single-vineyard wine, only released in stellar vintages and produced from the oldest continuously-producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world.
With only 12 handmade vessels in existence, each individually numbered, the Penfolds Ampoule is a true testament to the respect that Penfolds has for fine wine, South Australian heritage and the artistic skills of the region’s finest craftsman artists, four of whom were commissioned to collaborate on this distinctive project with the winemaking team. And, together they have crafted a thoughtful and unique object d’art, specially designed to store wine in an ideal environment.
The glass sculpture was designed and hand-blown by an internationally acclaimed glass artist Nick Mount, while the renowned Australian designer-maker Hendrik Forster prepared all the precious metal detailing, and Andrew Bartlett, a furniture craftsman designed and crafted the bespoke Jarrah cabinet.
Each Ampoule is also accompanied by a unique ‘Making of’ booklet and certificate of ownership and authenticity signed by Chief Winemaker Peter Gago and all contributing artists.
The price $168,000 also includes the payment for the pomp and circumstance involved in opening it. One of Penfolds Winemaking team's senior member will personally attend the bottle opening ceremony, where the ampoule will be removed ceremoniously from its special glass plumb-bob casing and will be opened using tungsten-tipped, and sterling silver scribe-snap. The senior winemaker will then also prepare the exquisite wine using a sterling silver tastevin.
Interestingly, one of the 12 ampoules, the number 1 has been placed in Penfolds' museum and another has already been assigned to a Singapore based customer, leaving only 10 ampoules remaining.
Update: Allocation for sale - 3 will go to Russia, London and Dubai, 3 to the rest of Asia, two to North America, 2 to Australia, and one will be donated to charity for auction.
Also watch the video making of the Penfolds Ampoule.