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Screwcaps

Screwcaps

Are You Getting Screwed?

Well, the answer is really yes and no. If you have shrewdly purchased one of the our estimable products crafted by the screw-pulous, exacting winemaking team at Bonny Doon Vineyard, you will notice that the bottle is sealed with a screwcap. Rest assured that the screwcap is in no way an inferior form of closure to the more prevalent 17th century technology, commonly referred to as a “cork.”

[Read]

While the Stelvin™ closure may not provide the cork’s POP and circumstance we associate with this potent if hoary cultural signifier, there are a few other tree-bark related shortcomings that it elegantly eludes. Specifically, wines sealed with a screwcap are not susceptible to contamination by 2,4,6 trichloroanisole, more commonly known as TCA, nor do they generally suffer from the mechanical problems of leakage.TCA contamination manifests in two quite different, though equally nefarious ways. In some ways, one might be fortunate to notice overt “corkiness,” the noxious old closet mustiness, thought to taint a substantial percentage of bottles sealed with even the most expensive traditional corks. Perhaps more diabolically, is the incidence of unrecognized cork taint in which the drinker does not notice a blatant or even subtle flaw in the wine; he or she merely experiences disappointment that the bottle was not as expressive as expected or hoped for.It is perhaps a bit counter-intuitive, but we have every confidence that a screwcap is, in fact, a more appropriate closure than a cork for true vins de garde. Yes, wines do need oxygen when in the barrel to drive the polymerization and softening of tannins, but once the tannins have softened, the oxygen’s work is doon. It is our observation that a given wine will live for approximately 50% longer than the equivalent wine sealed with a cork. There is but one potential trade-off for wines sealed with a screwcap that you should know about. Wines sealed with screwcaps, while emphatically capable of long, indeed brilliant ageing, often go through a longer and perhaps deeper (or darker) “dumb” or “closed” period. (N.B. Virtually every great wine, no matter what its closure goes through this so-called “backward” phase – it is in fact prima facie evidence of its ability to age and complex.) Therefore, we recommend decanting for all of our big, powerful wines, both red and white.Not quite convinced? Need to consult someone you can really trust, like a New Zealander? For further technical information on screwcaps, visit www.screwcap.co.nz.
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