Why This Decanter Will Set You Back $185K

'When we decant a wine, we aren't just pouring it out, we are liberating it'
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2016 6:19 AM CDT
Why This Decanter Will Set You Back $185K
The Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Ritual, of which there are five in the world, stands three feet tall and weighs more than 100 pounds. The smaller 750ml decanter will retail for $2,100.   (Penfolds)

Is the wine selling the decanter or is the decanter selling the wine? There's no easy answer in the unveiling of a truly prized possession, an imperial (6-liter) decanter called the Aevum Imperial Service Ritual that's meant to house the award-winning 2012 vintage of Australian winemaker Penfolds' Grange wine—and retails for $185,000. While a few hundred standard 750ml bottles of the shiraz go on sale Oct. 20 for $690 a bottle, and a 750ml self-swirling partner decanter will retail for $2,100, only five of the Rituals have been made, reports Bloomberg. Each $185,000 purchase comes with an imperial bottle (the volume of eight standard bottles) of 2012 Penfolds Grange, as well as a trip to Penfolds in South Australia to the launch event, dinner, and exclusive wine tasting with Penfolds' chief winemaker.

The Penfolds Grange may be Australia's most famous wine; critics hated winemaker Max Schubert's first attempts in the 1950s, but the wine turned out to age very well, and its 2012 vintage is just the latest to receive perfect scores from critics. But it's the two-year collaboration with French crystal maker Saint-Louis, Europe's oldest glassmaker dating to the 1500s, that has produced a decanter Forbes calls "an impressive feat of craftsmanship." The 110-pound, 3-foot-tall vessel features 1,800 diamond cuts and with the slightest tilt pours from the hefty imperial bottle. Good thing, too, as Penfolds' chief winemaker says, "When we decant a wine, we aren't just pouring it out, we are liberating it." (These wine grapes listened to Mozart, to their benefit.)

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