Screw Cap Chronicles
One of my astute readers corrected me when I wrote in the last issue that Bernard Ambroise was the first to use
a screw cap in Burgundy. He wrote, “One small correction - Patrice Rion offered some 2002 and 2003 vintage
wines with screw caps. Now the importer can choose before bottling which
closure he wants. I don’t think Patrice was the first either.” To set the record
straight, anyone know who the first was?
Aussie wine writer, Tyson Stelzer, writing in Wines & Vines, May, 2006 said: “I
am confident that the rate at which mature characters develop in screwcapped
wines is in fact absolutely no different than under traditional closures.
This is evidenced by the fact that wines under screw cap age at a similar rate
to those with the very best corks. For a wine under an average cork, however,
oxidation effects give the impression of accelerated aging, which has led to
the notion that wines mature more slowly under screw caps. Perhaps the
absence of oxidized characters in screw capped wines has given the mistaken
impression of slower aging?”
It may be old news to some, but it still brings a smile to my face. Bonny Doon’s
irreverent winemaker, Randall Grahm, staged funerals for the cork in New
York City and San Francisco in 2002. Go to www.deathof thecork.com for full
coverage and photos.