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Penfolds tempts lovers of luxury

By Alexis Hooi | China Daily | Updated: 2012-08-20 17:10

Penfolds tempts lovers of luxury

The Penfolds "ampoule" is being touted as ideal for aging, and it's targeting top end Chinese wine collectors. Provided to China Daily

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To help tap an increasingly demanding and affluent Chinese wine market, top Australian wine producer Penfolds recently launched a luxurious wine that comes in a custom-made glass capsule.

Priced at about A$168,000 ($176,000) each, the Penfolds "ampoule" of wine (750 ml) is being touted as ideal for aging and is targeted at the top end of Chinese wine collectors. Just 12 units have been created worldwide, with one remaining in the company's museum and the rest sold globally.

"We understand as winemakers that there is a lot of controversy sometimes surrounding whether your wine is under cork or screwcap and the differences between the two. This is a little bit of an experiment to put a wine into a scientific glass-blown vessel, or ampoule, that has no opening and closure," Penfolds winemaker Stephanie Dutton said at a recent wine tasting for Chinese drinkers.

The capsule holds Penfolds' celebrated 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon and one of its winemakers will be sent to open the wine for its owner once the decision is made to drink it.

"It's filled with a wine that is incredibly rare ... vines that are the oldest continuously producing cabernet vines in the world, planted in the 1880s," says Dutton.

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