World’s most expensive case of wine now for sale, just $168K a bottle

Posted at 2:00 PM, Jun 28, 2012

By Kat Kinsman, CNN

(CNN) — It’s a little-known fact, but wealthy people are actually physically unable to ingest liquids that cost less than $20 per fluid ounce. Consequently, today is a banner day for 12 lucky, loaded imbibers around the globe.

Not only will they have the privilege of spending an estimated $168,000 for one of the dozen “Ampoules” of 2004 Block 42 wine newly available from Australian winemaker Penfolds, but as part of the purchase price, a senior official from said company will be personally dispatched to them to ceremoniously remove the precious liquid from its glass plumb-bob casing and open it “using a specially designed, tungsten-tipped, sterling silver scribe-snap.” This same human will then “prepare the wine using a beautifully crafted sterling silver tastevin.” How fancy is that?

While single bottles of alcohol (notably a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson, that sold for $156,000 at auction and which inspired the book “The Billionaire’s Vinegar,” a $460,000 world auction record sale of the Macallan ‘Cire Perdue’ in 2010, a bottle of Dalmore 62 sold at the Singapore Airport for $194,000 in 2011 and a six-liter bottle of Screaming Eagle wine which went for $500,000 at auction) have gone for well into six figures, this limited edition Penfolds will be the most expensive wine directly sold from a winery in the world.

But it’s not just the grape juice (produced from the oldest continuously producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world) commanding such a lofty price. According to Penfolds, the vessel itself was a team effort, calling on the talents of a world-renowned glass artist, a prominent Australian designer-maker who prepared all the precious metal detailing, a South Australian furniture craftsman who designed and made the bespoke Jarrah cabinet, and a veteran scientific glassblower who designed the scientific–grade Ampoule.

And yes, the 12 lucky buyers get to keep the fancy glass doo-dad.