2004 Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon in its “special ampoule”
For the serious highroller unaffected by the recession, the Australian winemaker Penfolds has an unusual special offering. CNBC:
The most expensive wine ever sold directly from a winery will go on sale this week, from the venerable Australian vintner Penfolds. The limited edition release of the 2004 Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon is priced at $168,000 a bottle.
The wine’s distinctive price comes from its rarity. The wine was made from the oldest producing cabernet sauvignon vines in the world, transplanted from France to Australia in the 1830s.
Later planted at the Kalimna Vineyard in the Barossa Valley, northeast of Adelaide, the vines today provide unequaled juice, but little of it. Only 12 bottles of the 2004 vintage will be sold.
To add further cachet, Penfolds commissioned an ampoule of scientific grade glass to hold it from three Australian artists: Nick Mount, who designed and hand-blew the glass; silversmith Hendrik Forster, who prepared the precious metal detailing; and furniture craftsman Andrew Bartlett, made the bespoke Jarrah cabinet.
“Wine and art are intrinsically linked,” says Matt Lane, Penfolds’s U.S. representative, making the ideal buyer, says Lane, is “a big time, serious wine collector, of course, but also the art aficionado who wants to collect a unique sculpture.”
The other attribute of the ideal buyer — profoundly deep pockets — is indicated by the 12 bottles’ allocation for sale: three will go to Russia, London and Dubai, three to the rest of Asia, two to North America, and two to Australia. (One bottle will be donated to a charitable organization for auction, while the remaining one will be kept at Penfolds as a showpiece.)
If you’re unable to exercise for a short time due to injury or some other reason, a glass of red wine might be good for you, a new study suggests. Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in most red wine, has been associated with less muscle and strength loss during inactivity.
A cache of Champagne, which may date back as far as 1772, was found shipwrecked almost 200 feet deep in the Baltic [in late July]. There are musings that the Champagne may be part of a consignment that Louis XIV sent to the tsar of Russia just before the French revolution.
If this is true, these 30 or so bottles could be worth millions. Finnish officials have yet to decide who actually owns the wine.
Authorities believe that the Champagne is from the House of Clicquot, which began producing wine in 1772. (The name Veuve or Widow was not added until the 1800s.)
A sample has been sent to Moët & Chandon for verification. Moët Hennessey is the parent company of both Champagne brands.
Swedish diving instructor, Chrisian Ekstrom, found the treasure, and promptly opened a bottle to try with his crewmates. He described that taste as “fantastic… it had a very sweet taste, you could taste oak and it had a very strong tobacco smell. And there were very small bubbles.” It seems that conditions less than one league under the sea are ideal for storing and aging wine.
This Champagne is thought to be about 50 years older than the current oldest-known Champagne. There are two bottles left of the 1825 vintage in the cellars of Perrier-Jouët.
The California Department of Agriculture has quarantined 162 square miles in the heart of California wine country, including portions of Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. A larva of the European Grape Vine Moth (EGVM – Lobesia botrana) was captured in a trap near Oakville last September 15, marking the first appearance in North America of a pest native to Southern Europe, North Africa, Anatolia, and the Caucasus.
Suitcase smuggling of clone cuttings from top European vineyards in order to avoid sclerotic seven year USDA quarantines is rumored to have been used to create top-rated new vineyards during the 1980s, and informal evasion of the same regulations is rumored to be responsible for the recent arrival of EGVM.
AP and USDA officials are scolding and blaming scofflaws for the outbreak, noting that if the moth had arrived innocently via container ship, you’d expect to find the first examples around a port, not in the heart of Napa.
But Greg Clark, deputy agricultural commissioner for Napa County, actually hinted at deliberate introduction aimed at intentional sabotage of rival producers. “”Even small percentage or a fraction of a percentage in market share has the potential to benefit someone financially,” said Clark.
Middle-class wine drinkers will be the focus of government plans to make drunkenness as socially unacceptable as smoking, The Times has learnt.
Under the plans published today, a fresh audit is to be conducted by the Government into the overall costs of alcohol abuse to society and the National Health Service.
“We want to target older drinkers, those that are maybe drinking one or two bottles of wine at home each evening,” a Whitehall source said. “They do not realise the damage they are doing to their health and that they risk developing liver disease. ...
The move comes as The Times has been told that the British Medical Association is to investigate measures used in other countries to curb excessive alcohol consumption. Doctors’ leaders are also calling for pubs and restaurants to display warnings stating how many units of alcohol are contained in drinks served by the glass.
Today’s strategy, by the Home Office and the Department of Health, broadens the Government’s offensive against excessive drinking, with the focus moving beyond teenagers and the binge-drinkers to include those regularly sipping wine at home.
As part of the strategy, ministers wish to highlight the increasing burden that drink-related disease is placing on the NHS, which four years ago was estimated to be costing between £1.3 billion and £1.7 billion. Ministers want drunkenness in public to be as socially unacceptable in ten years’ time as smoking or drink-driving is today.
Last night Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, gave his full support to the focus on the health costs of heavy drinking. “We really need the spotlight more on health. While crime and antisocial behaviour is important it’s too easy to concentrate on that because it’s somebody else causing the trouble.
“When you look at health it’s more uncomfortable because there’s a very significant percentage of the population already drinking at potentially hazardous levels.”
With alcohol costing 54 per cent less in real terms than in 1980, Professor Gilmore, a liver specialist, also called on the Chancellor to raise drink taxes.
Socialized medicine demonstrably involves the surrender of private liberty to the nanny state now in charge of paying your doctor bill.