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This 'ethereal' wine will set you back $168,000 ... a bottle

Date

Mark Hawthorne

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The company's announcement.

The company's announcement.

Forget  Grange, there's a new flagship in the Penfold's range — a cabernet sauvignon that costs an astonishing $168,000 per bottle.

Just a dozen 750ml ''ampoules'' of  the 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon have been released by the winemaker, each one encased in a hand-blown glass sculpture designed by Nick Mount and created by glassblower Ray Leake.

It has an ethereal dimension and a saturated blackness on the palate, it's extraordinarily perfumed with layer upon layer of flavour 

Suspended in a Jarrah cabinet, the plumb-bob of rare wine is decorated with precious metals.

"Behind every Penfolds wine is the joy, energy, research and science that shapes it,'' said chief winemaker Peter Gago.

''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."

According to Penfolds, Penfolds 2004 Block 42 is a single-vineyard wine that is only released in the best vintages.

''It is produced from the oldest continuously-producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world,'' stated the company.

The 10-acre Block 423 vineyard was planted in the mid-1880s. It is located on the edge of the famous Kalimna property in the Barossa Valley, about 60 kilometres north of Adelaide.

Last year US wine critic James Suckling gave the wine a perfect score of 100 points.

''There is something really magical about the 2004 Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet,'' said Gago.

''It has an ethereal dimension and a saturated blackness on the palate, it's extraordinarily perfumed with layer upon layer of flavour.''

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