Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sell the Sizzle: When the "Excellent Cork" is Better than the Wine...

More news by accident from Spain: I have seen the future (of wine bottles, at least) and it’s a cherry-red Excellent Cork.

Straight out of a bottle of Iberian red – see below – I took out this plug of polímero termoplástico as easy as pie. It’s produced in Alicante, Spain by the eponymous company. Its website is worth a look-see, even if you can’t read Español, because it gets its message across easily.

These guys are in the plastic stopper business and its probably a better option, cost-wise, than glass stoppers. A Spanish wine-blogger, Benito Otrero, has posted about these synthetic stoppers here.

I am sorry to tell you the wine that this Excellent Cork came out of is a bottle of Chapillon Cuvee Harmonie circa 2006 – also Spanish. And therein lies the problem: This is [a] not a terribly good-tasting blend (90% petit verdot and 10% tannat) despite its “90” score from The Wine Advocate. The estate has its own blog and since I’ve read this review on the Internet it must be true. Right.

Also [b], the bottle comes with an immediate nose that says SKUNK big time. I do not know if it is the wine or the stopper. And the plonk doesn’t really improve with breathing. So…you can pick up this wine but really, only for the terrific new corking mechanism.

The Excellent Cork you gotta see!


Richard Laurence Baron said...

BTW, the photo in today's post comes from Otrero's "Oenoblog," with thanks.

Christopher Higham said...

Richard,the future of stoppers has to be synthetic, we all know there is simply not enough cork to be sustainable. Unless one is talking about "library" wine, I see no problem and have not noticed a significant difference in taste.Your thoughts?

Richard Laurence Baron said...

You're right, Christopher - and I shouldn't appear so wide-eyed. This is hardly the first time I've run into a plastic wine bottle stopper.

I don't think it's the fault of the polymer stopper that the Chapillon 2006 is not so delish, but it may be a matter of personal taste after all. Other plastic stoppers don't seem to affect their wines' taste.

I am more bemused by the marketing behind a plastic stopper that actually as the company website cast into the plastic. That I had NOT seen before.