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Robin Garr

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Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Robin Garr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:28 pm

select-green-300SM.jpg
Nomacorc Select Green 300
select-green-300SM.jpg (154.28 KiB) Viewed 2761 times

So I pulled cork on a Régnié with lunch, and was a little irritated to notice that the stopper was not a cork or a DIAM or a sturdy screwcap but one of those pale, flesh-colored plastic stoppers. Feh! I thought those had gone off the market years ago, rejected by wine nerds because wines deteriorated so rapidly under them.

But wait, what's this? Written on the "cork" I see "Select Green 300 - 100% Recyclable."

Okay, this is new. I google a little and find a lot of promotional hype and a very small amount of analysis. So Nomacorc responded to the criticism in the first decade of the 2000s by coming up with ways to control O2 ingress at several levels, yielding Select Green 100, 300, and 500 ranges, plus making it from recyclable materials? Interesting, but I'm having a hard time trusting this firm after their Next Great Thing was not. On the other hand, this 2017 village Beaujolais was in fine shape, not that less than three years from the vintage is all that ancient.

So, anyway, am I just discovering something that all the rest of you have known about since forever? Can you tell me more about it, and whether you consider it a legitimate alternative to potentially tainted cork tree bark?
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:42 pm

Hi Robin,

the new Nomacorc looks like the evil plastic stoppers of a few years ago, but they are IME excellent now. No risk of cork taint, of course, but also excellent resistance to oxidation; supposedly the oxygen transmission is very low and very consistent. I have found them comparable in performance to Diam.
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Robin Garr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:05 pm

Thanks, Oliver. Very helpful!

Do you happen to know when these "green" corks hit the market? Is it a recent innovation, or simply one that slipped by me? It's good to know.
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Peter May » Fri May 01, 2020 6:56 am

I haven't had one of these 'Select Green' stoppers, but the inexpensive Italian Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from Roxan Co-operative we have very week has a plastic closure stamped that it is 100% recyclable. I bung (hah hah) it in the plastic recyclable bin.

However - it needs a corkscrew to remove, unlike a screwcap
and it will strip the Teflon from a decent corkscrew, unlike a cork/DIAM closure

So, although I can see the 3 or 4-fold attraction for the winery, I personally would much rather not encounter a plastic closure.
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by David M. Bueker » Fri May 01, 2020 11:12 am

There are any number of new, "green" corks out there. Hardy Wallace (Dirty & Rowdy) and Pax Mahle (Pax) are using one based on sugarcane waste. I am not looking to lay down their wines for the long term, so it's less of a concern, but I remain quite dubious.

One thing that has been driving me nuts with the sugarcane corks is that they are harder to get out of the bottle than even the old plastic plugs. I have broken two corkscrews opening D&R wines, and nearly broke my wrist one time. I am quite afraid of breaking glass, and suffering a serious wine-related injury!
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Robin Garr » Fri May 01, 2020 11:22 am

David M. Bueker wrote:One thing that has been driving me nuts with the sugarcane corks is that they are harder to get out of the bottle than even the old plastic plugs. I have broken two corkscrews opening D&R wines, and nearly broke my wrist one time. I am quite afraid of breaking glass, and suffering a serious wine-related injury!

Yep, same. These Nomacorcs are made from sugarcane, by the way - Brazilian sugarcane guaranteed not to come from farners who burn over their fields! :shock: This cork wasn't terribly hard to get out, but it was the usual monster to get off the corkscrew.
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Oliver McCrum » Fri May 01, 2020 8:08 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Thanks, Oliver. Very helpful!

Do you happen to know when these "green" corks hit the market? Is it a recent innovation, or simply one that slipped by me? It's good to know.


A few years ago, I believe, Robin. I was initially very hesitant because of their resemblance to the older plastic plugs which were awful, hard to remove and ruining the wine with oxidation after 12-18 months.

I like these about as much as Diam, but they are only an interim step: we should just be switching to screw caps! It's a big challenge in Italy, the local market is still very resistant.
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Robin Garr » Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 pm

Screw caps are definitely the future, Oliver. It's good to know that these seem to have resolved the quick-oxidation problem, but they're still just as hard to pull out and just as irritatingly hard to work off the screw. Anything that's a barrier to entry is bad.
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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by Victorwine » Mon May 04, 2020 12:59 pm

Some might find the following link interesting. Namacorc introduced their Green Line of corks in 2013. At the 2017 WineExpo they had a seminar.

https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... sure-48420

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Re: Nomaorc "Select Green" stoppers: Any opinions?

by David M. Bueker » Mon May 04, 2020 4:24 pm

Victorwine wrote:Some might find the following link interesting. Namacorc introduced their Green Line of corks in 2013. At the 2017 WineExpo they had a seminar.

https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... sure-48420

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Thanks for the reminder about that article.

The "corks" are not accepted in the single stream recycling where I live, and my only Total Wine is about a 30 minute drive away. So not reasonably recyclable here!

I honestly think that their "green" claims are about as truthful as a Trump press conference.
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