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Isaac

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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Isaac » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:46 am

Hoke wrote:Tim:

I passed through a wine aisle while shopping for groceries today.

Thought you'd like to know you an cross a few more wines off your list of drinkables because they've gone over to screwcaps.

Ferrari-Carano
Silverado
Hogue
Marques de Caceres

The wine of the week in the local paper was a Sauvignon Republic SB. They do three versions of SB, a Russian River Valley, a New Zealand, and a South Africa. They put their wines exclusively in screwcap.


I'll keep you updated so you can stay current. Just a local community service.

Oh, one other thing: in Decanter magazine they quoted the World Wildlife Fund as predicting that by 2015 they expect 95% of wines to be sealed by screwcaps. (Of course, I do have to say that the WWF is a big proponent of natural cork and that announcement might be a scare tactic---might have something to do with the fact that the cork producers contribute lots of funds to the WWF, but that might just be me being cynical.)
What year was the Marques de Caceres? I have one from 2002, and it"s got a cork.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Isaac » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:58 am

TimMc wrote:[heaviest of sighs]

I sincerely hope you do not equate screw caps with life and death situations now, do you?

I agree.

Death is a bad thing. :roll:


But unless you extremely over imbibe....this is not anywhere CLOSE to the issue of screw caps.
No, but you're getting a bit melodramatic, I think. Whether it's life or death, or something as mundane as computer printers, the required success rate is much higher than 98%. In industry, three sigma is pretty standard. Three sigma quality level translates to a process yield of 99.73%. Six sigma is the coming thing.

If a computer company had a 2% failure rate, they'd lose market share, and rapidly go out of business, and rightly so. Most people would be furious if 2% of their telephone calls didn't go through, or is the electricity was off 2% of the time. Most things in life work pretty much all of the time, and are so reliable that we take it for granted. Why should wine be different? Would beer drinkers accept it if 2% of their bottles were undrinkable? How about scotch? I say no way.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Thomas » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:20 pm

TimMc wrote:
Thomas wrote:It's true that one cannot argue with facts, but it's also true that people with a strong belief system or ideology don't want facts, they want validation, which of course precipitates an argument as soon as they come up against someone who presents facts.


Hm.

I would argue that "facts" can be tweaked in order to reflect whatever ever you want to prove, my friend.

Case in point: Is it a fact the glass is half full or is it a fact the glass is half empty? **


Is it a fact that, since all facts can be tweaked, there is nothing in which to believe unless it joins with one's personal belief system?

And may I say once more that when I produced wine a 96% to 98% product loss would have been unimaginable. Plus, the unknown loss of ignorant consumers who would have blamed my winemaking instead of the cork would have been a hidden percentage to add to the above loss.

Once again, this subject is not about you; it's about serving two needs: the customer and the producer.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:39 pm

Drop in the bucket, Hoke.


Just trying to keep you updated, Tim.

Here's a few more drops in your bucket:

Domain Laroche Chablis--including Grand Cru Chablis
Voss Vineyards, Napa
Clos Pegase, Napa
Veramonte, Chile
J. Lohr Cypress
Whitehall Lane, Napa
Cuvaison
Eagle Rock (Colorado)
Chehalem (Oregon)
Chateau Couhins Lurton
Chateau La Louviere
Chatea Bonnet
La Vielle Ferme (France)
Jean-Claude Boisset (France)

That's it for now. More later.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by TimMc » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:19 pm

Very few well known wineries in that list, my friend.

J. Lohr Cypress....?


Sounds like a second brand to me.....you are pleading the case of the prosecution here. :wink:
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:39 pm

Tim:

Not pleading a case at all, nor prosecuting.

Just doing a little public service.

Appears though, that people with open minds---and the interest of the wine consuming public in mind---are putting wine under screwcaps. Wines ranging from the modest to the grand, from the inexpensive to the expensive.

Hey, I just saw an interesting comment in an article by Terry Dunleavy MBE, wherein he quotes Chuck Hayward, a savvy wine retailer in San Francisco. (The full article can be viewed on Sue Courtney's Wine of the Week website, btw.)

Chuck Hayward of the Jug Shop in San Francisco which specialises in wines from Australia and New Zealand, said: “The American market today is largely in an acceptance phase regarding screwcaps in the wine industry. Much of today’s acceptance of this closure has come from the sheer numbers of screwcapped wines that consumers and the trade now encounter on a daily basis. The novelty of the screwcap is gone, as is the need for gimmicky marketing ideas to introduce the concept to the wine drinking public. Such wines are now on wine lists, often specifically designated as screwcap wines. Sommeliers have adapted or created new serving techniques to accommodate the new closure. There have been side benefits to screwcaps which consumers have identified and seen as positive factors: senior citizens with arthritis who appreciate the ease of opening the bottle, bartenders who can twist and pour wines quickly, picknickers who forget their corkscrew.”


I like the part about consumers seeing sheer numbers of screwcaps increase on a daily basis. One assumes those are people whose eyes and minds are both open.

In a separate quote, Chuck also said that when they first brought in Jeffrey Grosset's Polish Hill Riesling (one of the best Rieslings in the world), they offered the wine in both screwcap and cork closure, for the same price. And 75% preferred the screwcap version. At $25--30 a bottle.

More later. Stay tuned in.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Neil Courtney » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:44 pm

TimMc wrote:Very few well known wineries in that list, my friend.

J. Lohr Cypress....?


Sounds like a second brand to me.....you are pleading the case of the prosecution here. :wink:


It sounds like J. Lohr produces a LOT of wine, and I would say that the Cypress range makes up a large portion of their output. At $10 per bottle it is not in the relm of "white port in a paper bag" stuff.

What would put me off J. Lohr is the fact that they produce the ARIEL dealcoholised wines. The ARIEL Merlot that I tried a number of years ago was a trully awful wine. Like drinking corked wine out of last nights party ash trays. Never again! :shock:
Cheers,
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:01 pm

Neil:

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the Ariel. It's pretty disgusting stuff.

But the Cypress wines are pretty decent. The J. Lohr wines are better, with the Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon being surprisingly good. Years ago, Jerry and his son decided to move their focus from Monterey only to a wider Central Coast sourcing. Smart move, since it focused their whites primarily on Monterey, but allowed them to get fruit from Paso Robles/San Luis Obispo for their red wines.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:23 am

A few more drops, Tim.

First, did you already know that Willakenzie is in screwcap? It's been a while, but I don't know if you're up to date on that one.

Well, add Scott Paul to your list. He's from Oregon too.

Not to overlook our Canadian brethren, let's add to the list

Mission Hill
Tinhorn Creek
Henry of Pelham
Inniskillin
Malivoire

Not small wineries, those.

In South Africa you can list Kanonkop.

In Switzerland, apparently the Provins wines are under screwcap.

In Bordeaux, we can add Dourthe and Chateau la Raz (I'll confess, I don't know that one!). But I think it is significant that Chateau Margaux has publicly announced they put their Pavillon under screwcap, for a test. Shows they are thinking about it, eh?

In Alsace, Paul Blanck, the highly respected winemaker, has gone screwcap.

In Germany, add Kuehn.

And surprise, surprise, Miguel Torres, who has previously come out in favor of corks, has bottled the Torres Vina Esmeralda in...yep, screwcaps. Pretty gutsy for a Spanish producer, I think.

Oh, and Plumpjack! You have to know about Plumpjack, right? $145 a bottle? Napa? Sold out? Screwcap.

And at Sonoma-Cutrer, the Founder's Reserve Chardonnay, the winery's lowest volume and most expensive wine (the winemaker gets to select and bottle his five favorite barrels each year, about 125 cases), well, that's been under screwcap since the 1999 vintage.

Are you writing this down?
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by James Roscoe » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:49 am

Hoke,
Why do you bother? When you beat your head against a brick wall it feels better when you stop, but does it get you anywhere? The wall is still made of bricks.
Peace!
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Graeme Gee » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:28 am

Hoke wrote:A few more drops, Tim.
...
Are you writing this down?


Hoke, these are just a few dozen isolated examples. No doubt, in another 5 years, there will be hundreds of wineries, but they'll still just be isolated examples (a bit less isolated, that's all :wink: ).

It's the northern harvest as we write. I wonder how many Australian and NZ winemakers are out there, working the vintage, pouring scorn on the corks they are seeing in Old World wineries...

cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Michael Pronay » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:30 am

Hoke, just a little correction regarding Switzerland: 60 percent of its production goes under screwcap.

Add Chateau d'Agassac (Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc) to the list.

If somebody is missing prestigious name, the latest newcomer to the screwcapped list comes from a small company down-under nobody probably has ever heard of: Penfold's Grange*).

*) Confirmed by the managing diretor of Penfold's agent in Austria. They will offer Grange as futures with the choice of screwcaps, beginning with the 2005 vintage.
Ceterum censeo corticem esse delendam
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:12 am

James/Graeme:

FYI, I'm simply using this as a way to get the screwcapped wines talked about/thought about more. Giving them a shout, as it were. Points out the increasing trend and dramatizes it.

Michel: Thanks for the additions.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sue Courtney » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:02 pm

Hoke, Here's one you missed and it's a biggie.

"Portugal is facing new concerns in its natural cork industry, as one of the region's top wine producers has reported that it is switching from cork to screwcaps.
Miguel Champalimaud, owner of the Quinta do Cotto vineyard, is making the move to the cheaper bottle stopper for two of its new wines. Both the white and the rose Paco de Teixeiro in the 2005 vintage will be sealed with screwcaps."


In the papers widely about the time it happened. Here's the link the above was taken from.

And did you mention Domaine Laroche? When Benjamin Laroche visited New Zealand in March 2006, he was extremely proud of his company's move to screwcaps. Two wines on show at that tasting were -
Domain Laroche Premier Cru Les Fourchaumes 2004 - closed with a screwcap and in perfect condition.
Domain Laroche Grand Cru Les Clos 2002 - closed with a cork and, believe it or not, it was corked!
When something like this happens, all Benjamin could do was shrug his shoulders and say 'Zis ees one of the reasons we are moving to screwcaps".
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:49 pm

Yes, Sue, I had mentioned Domaine Laroche. I remember reading about M. Laroche's dramatic 'conversion' to non-cork closures after the New Zealand inititiative brought the stark differences between the two closures to his attention. Bless the man, I say. He has the courage of his convictions---and I know that he is primarily concerned about the wine, and the customers who drink his wine.

But the Portugese producer? Wow, that one got right past me! That is huge.

By the way, comendations on the article you have on your website. Good reading there on this issue.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sue Courtney » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:04 pm

Hoke wrote:By the way, comendations on the article you have on your website. Good reading there on this issue.


Thanks Hoke,
I started my screwcap pages and did quite a lot of research before the subject got big, so delighted to be mentioned in Tyson Stelzer's bibliography in 'Screwed for Good'.
But over five years later the move to screwcaps is escalating at an enormous rate throughout the wine world and it is hard for me on my http://www.wineoftheweek.com pay (i.e. $0) to keep up with who is where with the closure.
Interestingly, there are about 200 producers in New Zealand looking at DIAM technical corks, although only about half that number have released wines using them at this stage. While some producers will doggedly stay with natural cork, some will go either 100% screwcap or 100% DIAM, but there will be an increasing number who will use a combination of both screwcap and DIAM through their range in preference to natural cork. It's depends on a number of factors, I'm told, including the style of wine and the vintage conditions.
I wouldn't be surprised if this NZ trend dictates the future worldwide trend. Time will tell.
Cheers,
Sue

PS I'm still waiting to see the VinoLok closure in NZ. I hear it is being trialled, but not seen any results yet.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:26 pm

Sue,

Like you, I'm not married to screwcaps. I am looking for the industry to use the best possible closure system for wines. If that is screwcaps (in whatever manifestation or design available), fine. If it is DIAM, fine. If it is something else, fine.

The corkistas keep focusing on screwcap vs. cork as the debate. That's not it at all. The debate is whether we should be using the best closure system possible. And, of course, what the "best" is. :)

I'll give up screwcaps in a heartbeat if something better comes along. What I'm not willing to do is continue to let cork closures continue doing their imperfect job when something better is available.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sue Courtney » Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:41 pm

Hoke wrote:Sue,

Like you, I'm not married to screwcaps. I am looking for the industry to use the best possible closure system for wines. If that is screwcaps (in whatever manifestation or design available), fine. If it is DIAM, fine. If it is something else, fine.

The corkistas keep focusing on screwcap vs. cork as the debate. That's not it at all. The debate is whether we should be using the best closure system possible. And, of course, what the "best" is. :)


Exactly.
I mentioned DIAM in the opening statement to this thread but it quickly turned into a screwcap vs cork debate. The closure debate is a biggie, and much bigger than the tired old argument that some people can't move on from.
For many of us it all boils down to opening the wine and not finding it undrinkable because of the closure. And for all those people going on about reduction, try decanting. Decanting does not fix a wine riddled or even marginally affected with that yucky taste character that we call cork taint, whether it came from the cork or somewhere else. However opening a second bottle will quickly sort out if it is the cork at fault or something else, although all too often we don't have a second bottle to do this with.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:47 pm

I think reduction is something that was seized upon as an arguing point, Sue, but when all is said and done it will likely be de-bunked.

As a matter of fact, I think it already is de-bunked.

Reduction is possible sure. In screwcap wines and cork-finished wines. Even so, it can be managed, because it is primarily a winemaking issue. As winemaker get more accustomed to dealing with screwcap closures, reduction will diminish as a concern.

And as you point out, even if the wine is showing reduction, it's easy enough to deal with: decant the wine.

I'd much rather have to deal with slight reduction, which can be managed, than have to continue to deal with 5--8% of my wine irretrievably contaminated by tree bark. It's as simple as that, really.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by TimMc » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:40 pm

Hoke,

Now then....can you name all the many hundreds of wineries that do not use a screw cap?



Methinks thou dost protest too much.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Howie Hart » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:50 pm

Tim - can you nae all the farms that don't have e-coli tainted spinach or lettuce?
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:03 pm

TimMc wrote:Hoke,

Now then....can you name all the many hundreds of wineries that do not use a screw cap?



Methinks thou dost protest too much.


You can do that if you want, Tim.

I'm just noting the ch-ch-ch-changes. You know--public service. Heads up. That kind of thing.

I figured it was a good idea to help you out with change, since it's something you're apparently not too adept at.

And are you sure you got your Shakespeare quote right? You might want to check it. That could make you look a little foolish, if you quoted improperly. Wouldn't want that to happen.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by James Roscoe » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:10 pm

Hoke and Howie,
Rule # 1 - DO NOT FEED THE TROLL!

D'OH!!!! I just broke the rule!

Have fun, gentlemen! The wall is still made of bricks.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Hoke » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:28 pm

Ooh, Tim!

Found some more.

Arrogant Frog, France

Le Columbelle, France

Goats Do Roam...and in one of my faves, a Rose!

Vina Cono Sur, Chile

Rustenberg Shiraz, SA---and a Shiraz; that should be interesting, eh?

Oak Valley Wines, also from South Africa.
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