A+ R A-
Friday, 14 January 2011 11:31

Screwcap vs Natural Cork

Rate this item
(2 votes)
Wine corks Wine corks
At Domaine Sainte Rose we use both types of closure, but if given a choice we would always choose screwcap. Why? At the moment, it is quite simply the safest, cleanest, most anaerobic (free of oxygen) closure readily available on the market.

Want the detail? Read on ...

Cork is the traditional wine closure made from the bark of the cork tree and is much revered in this day and age because it is a natural product. It can however impart undesirable aromas and flavours to a wine. This is commonly referred to as being 'corked' or cork taint. The most common cause of cork taint is the presence of 2,4,6-tri-choloro anisole (TCA) in the wine, which is a compound caused by the action of chlorine on cork bark. The characteristic odours are those of mould, damp cloths or wet socks! Although harmless, it can mask the more appealing primary fruit flavours of a wine.

For a wine producer this is unacceptable and immensely frustrating, as it has nothing to do with the quality of the grapes or the winemaking process. It is the expensive, third party product that has ruined the months of hard work that goes into producing a wine. What is worse is that many consumers don't recognise the cork fault and in most cases conclude that they just don't like the wine. You can understand therefore why most of the Sainte Rose range is under screw cap!

In addition to the problem of TCA we have also noticed that under natural cork wines can age prematurely, creating variation within a given lot that has been bottled and sealed at the same time. This occurs because each cork has its own natural density and therefore strength of seal against the glass. Each cork therefore allows different levels of oxygen to enter the bottle, which in turn helps or hinders the aging process.

The debate is not yet over as new technology and research undertaken by the natural cork producers continues to reduce the prevalence of TCA in the bark. This is encouraging but cork is still not even close to being 100% assured. There are also other closures being developed, too many and varied to go into here and not readily available on the market. So we have concluded that while it may not end up being the final solution, screwcaps are undeniably the best closure of the moment.

Last modified on Sunday, 16 January 2011 10:49
Ruth Simpson

Ruth Simpson

I am Ruth Simpson, I own Domaine Sainte Rose with my husband Charles. We moved to the Languedoc in 2002 to live our dream.

Related Video

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site When JN Wine came for a visit JN Wine, Fleming Steele

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.