Sam's Club Is Selling Six-Figure Wine?


A supersized suburban wholesaler is about to step up its oenological game.
This Friday, a Sam's Club in New Jersey will grace one corner of its industrial shelves with a rare bottle of Australian wine worth $168,000. Only three bottles of the wine, a Penfolds Block 42 Limited Edition Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon Ampoule, are available for sale in the United States.
Penfolds has long been Australia's premier winemaker. The producer's 2008 Grange received 100 pts. from Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator, the first non-European wine to win a perfect score.
The Block 42 is fetching its $168,000 price tag for several reasons.
According to Penfolds, the limited-release wine was harvested from vines which have continually produced cabernet sauvignon longer than any other vines in the world. 
Penfold's 2004 Block 42 garnered a 100-point rating from a prominent critic, proof that, at the very least, the Sam's Club bottle will be a pleasant quaff.
Another factor in the wine's hefty price is its packaging. Mundane bottle-with-label this is not. 
The standard 750ml serving of ruby red nectar is housed in a futuristic container which resembles a cross between a spaceship and a mercury thermometer. A hand-blown glass ampoule cradles the wine. Rhodium – more expensive than gold – accents the ampoule. It is housed in a handsome wood case. 
The “bottle” of $168,000 Block 42 – that's nearly 15,000 10-packs of crew socks, if you're counting – also comes with white-glove service. If you fancy the perk, Penfolds will send a specialist to open the bottle for you. A free lifetime Sam's Club membership also is included with the purchase.
Penfolds released only 12 bottles of Block 42 in 2012. 
“It has an ethereal dimension and a saturated blackness on the palate,” said Penfolds' chief winemaker Peter Gago during an interview after the wine's release. “It's extraordinarily perfumed with layer upon layer of flavor.”

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  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 4,989

    "a rare bottle of Australian wine *worth* $168,000."

    Need an editorial check on the wording of the article. Whether or not that's what Penfolds is trying to create an artificial market for, and what Sam's may be charging, I highly doubt it is 'worth' that. :-(

    Oct 16, 2014 at 7:53 PM

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