Treasury Wine Estates subsidiary Penfolds announced today that they will be releasing what they describe as the most extraordinary wine ever made. After 1000s of man-hours at the sorting table, a single Shiraz grape was chosen among millions to be vinified separately from all the others, with its precious nectar allowed to shine as a pure singularity of the finest wine Australia can produce.
Fermentation took place in a new oak thimble, with a toothpick used for punchdowns. Once complete, the resulting wine was squeezed off its skin into a specially constructed nano-barrel carved from 100% French Oak. After 24 months, somehow avoiding complete evaporation, the remaining liquid was hermetically sealed in a perfect glass sphere, resembling a child’s marble (do children still play with marbles?). That single Marble is priced at £1,000,000.
When asked if this was a little steep, a Penfolds representative scoffed, “Really, it ought to be priceless, but if it was we couldn’t sell it, so we just came up with something ridiculously expensive. Maybe we should’ve encased it in a diamond or something.”
Obviously with such a tiny quantity, samples proved something of an issue. “We vinified a couple of other single grapes from the same parcel to get an idea of what this one might taste like – but the mystery of it all is part of the allure.”
Of course, for the lucky buyer of the marble, comes some added extras. A case of Grange 1998 for your guests to sip while they watch you drink the Marble, as there obviously isn’t enough to share. Penfolds don’t think this will be an issue, as they’re quite certain the buyer wouldn’t think of actually drinking it. “Nah, are you kidding? We hope not, at least, as we promised to fly to population of Sydney to the opening ceremony, and that would work out pricier than the pebble itself… marble… whatever the fucking thing is."
When asked for a comment, a bearded, jet-lagged, dishevelled Robert Parker woke from a nap and muttered, “a thousand points” and immediately fell back asleep.
Some members of the wine trade were somewhat sceptical of the ‘Marble’. “First an ampoule and now a marble? The whole thing is bloody ridiculous – how do you drink a single grape’s worth of wine? Who’s going to buy that?”
Penfolds responded that, apparently, Alistair Viner of Hedonism Wines had already bought it.