YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

How much for a decent bottle of wine? Try $168,000

August 27, 2012|By David Lazarus
  • Australian winemaker Penfolds is serving up a Cabernet that costs $168,000 a bottle.
Australian winemaker Penfolds is serving up a Cabernet that costs $168,000… (Los Angeles Times )

Wine snobs don't hesitate even when the price is high. How do you put a price, after all, on a superior vino?

But still — $168,000?

Australian winemaker Penfolds released a wine last year that cost about $1,000 — an impressive sum. But that's nothing compared with its 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is priced at, yes, $168,000.

How can that possibly be the case? The Wall Street Journal asked just that question and found that one of the selling points is what Penfolds says is the world's oldest continually producing Cabernet vines, which have been coughing up grapes since the 1880s.

The wine, which comes in a fancy special vessel ("bottle" is too tame a word), is described as having "an ethereal dimension and a saturated blackness on the palate." It's also "extraordinarily perfumed with layer upon layer of flavor."

Only a dozen individually numbered vessels of the wine have been made, with one reserved for Penfolds’ own museum.

Of the 11 available to buy, 10 have already been sold.

So that means you'd better hurry if you want the sole remaining bottle of $168,000 wine. And considering its scarcity, $168,000 is probably a low-ball estimate at this point.

Penfolds is accepting applications for purchase by phone (61 4 407 058 862) and email (

Los Angeles Times Articles