Penfolds releases $168,000 wine

Penfolds launched a limited edition of its 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon for $168,000. The winery claims it's now the most expensive wine in the world sold directly from a winery and the only wine encased in a bottle with no cork or screw cap. The '2004 Block 42' wine was unveiled at a special dinner in Moscow earlier this week at luxurious mansion/restaurant, the Cristal Room Baccarat.

The beautiful glass sculpture was designed and hand-blown by Nick Mount, an internationally recognised glass artist. To encase the ampoule, Nick has designed and hand blown a conical, elongated plumb-bob of transparent grey glass with a rubyred 'cotton-reel' top. The plumb-bob is suspended in a bespoke Jarrah cabinet, with the ampoule held securely at its core.

Penfolds's chief winemaker Peter Gago says in a release: "The ampoule project is typical of the pioneering philosophy behind Penfolds's winemaking evolution. The collaboration with South Australia's finest artists has been a fitting tribute for one of South Australia's finest wines."

Penfolds created 12 ampoules-one for its library, one to be auctioned for charity, and 10 for sale (two in North America, two in Europe, three in Asia, and three in Australia and New Zealand).