The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Bob Ross » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:49 pm

"Point 18 might primarily apply to winemakers/producers, sure, but good cost control doesn't just keep costs in control (although that's a good thing, because lower production costs might generate lower sales prices to a smart company). Good cost control also signals a company pays attention to quality control as well."

I certainly agree in principle, Hoke, but I wonder if anyone has really determined whether switching from cork to screw top results in lower costs to the winemaker. I've seen bits and pieces of the analysis, but nothing comprehensive.

For me, the fundamental problem with corks from a cost point of view is the 8 to 10% of tainted wine and the additional wines in which fruit is destroyed by TCA. That cost is borne primarily by consumers, in their pocket and in lost pleasure.

"The other point is not terribly baffling either...if you consider that such properties as Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Latour Pauillac arrange world tours every so many years offering to pull the old corks out of owner's bottles, topping with wine from the chateau cellars, and recorking with new corks. Because even the great Chateaux will tell you that corks have a finite life cycle and do deteriorate at certain ages."

I'll defer to no body in the my ability to be baffled, Hoke and Ian, but in this case I considered that recorking busines and rejected it -- after reconsideration, it still seems make weight -- or perhaps a valiant effort to get to 20 arguments.

I seriously doubt that any of the big wines selling these days well north of $300 to $400 a bottle will move from cork to screw top for this reason. For one, any savings are going to be at least 20 to 25 years in the future. For a second, the recorking programs are delightful marketing gimmicks -- I've attended two of the "ceremonies" and both were well publicized and made lots of friends for the wineries in question. If anything, I think this is a pretty good argument for using cork and continuing a compelling marketing strategy.

I spent a bit of time trying to think of what else that point meant -- and failed -- hence

CONTINUED BAFFLEMENT.

Regards, Bob
no avatar
User

Michael Pronay

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

320

Joined

Mon May 01, 2006 1:47 pm

Location

Vienna, Austria

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Michael Pronay » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:27 am

Bob Ross wrote:I seriously doubt that any of the big wines selling these days well north of $300 to $400 a bottle will move from cork to screw top for this reason.

Well, beginning from vintage 2005, there will be one super premium wine with a choice of closure under screw-cap: Grange.

But of course not because of this peculiar reason ("14. Old bottles do not need to be recapped").
Ceterum censeo corticem esse delendam
User avatar
User

Ian Sutton

Rank

Spanna in the works

Posts

3652

Joined

Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm

Location

Norwich, UK

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Ian Sutton » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:30 am

Bob
Indeed, with any list there's always makeweights in there.

I'd tend to agree that for companies with big marketing budgets and an aim to drive home an image of prestige, the recorking clinics seem to be a good publicity vehicle.

regards

Ian
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

17375

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Robin Garr » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:19 am

Michael Pronay wrote:Remember: We're not talking about making screwcap compulsory, but simply to allow them. No more, no less. Sorry to get emotional, Robin, but I do call this attitude "anachronistic", and I stand to it. And it won't change as long as these "old men" (F.H. & E.K.; T.B. being younger, but also extremely conservative on this point) govern Vinea Wachau.


Michael, thank you for a long and thoughtful answer, which adds a lot of flesh to the bare bones of your initial post.

That being said, it seems to me that this situation offers a strong opportunity for some crusading journalism by a powerful Austrian wine journalist. :)

Have you, or any of your associates, dug deeply into this issue for a published story? It seems to me that an in-depth report, with background information on the issues of natural cork versus alternative closures, along with interviews with both the Vinea Wachau principals and other Wachau wine makers, could result in a story of great significance, at a minimum, and might even push this heavy wagon ever so slightly in the direction of change.

If you haven't already done this, would you consider it? Or would a controversy at this level get you drummed out of the Austrian press corps?
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Bob Ross » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:23 am

"Well, beginning from vintage 2005, there will be one super premium wine with a choice of closure under screw-cap: Grange."

Thanks, Michael, I missed that news.
no avatar
User

David Lole

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1556

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:49 am

Location

Canberra, Australia

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by David Lole » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:46 pm

Having known Tyson Steltzer for the last several years, I have absolute confidence in his motives and ethical standing on the screwcap issue.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is barking up the wrong tree......... cough .... cough...... sorry about that...... :roll: :wink:
Cheers,

David
no avatar
User

Michael Pronay

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

320

Joined

Mon May 01, 2006 1:47 pm

Location

Vienna, Austria

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Michael Pronay » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:22 pm

Robin,

I did my first screw-cap story back in 2003, published in Vinaria: http://www.vinaria.at/sub11_vi.asp

Two years later, in 2005, I had a long story on six wine-growers using alternative closures: screwcaps, glass stoppers and crown caps (for sparklers). It was published in "A la Carte" Magazine and archived on the web by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board: http://www.austrian.wine.co.at/frischgepresst/alacarte200501.htm

Heated discussions have been going on over here for three or four years. The first to heavily react against screw-caps ("death of wine culture" etc.) were the editors of Falstaff magazine. Today Falstaff is neutral, and the issue has changed from journalistic "fights" down to the reality of the markets.

Here in Austria there is a marked east-west gradient. While accepted in majority by consumers, trade and restaurant business in the east (where the wine-growing areas are situated), the west seems very reluctant. The "in-betweens", of course, are producers and trade. But with more and more of the top notch guys switching to alternative closures, also the west of the country (Salzburg, Tyrol, i.e. the haavy touristic areas) has begun to rethink its position.

Within the specialized press, I'm known as "Mister Screwcap", and Peter Moser from Falstaff already meant that Stelvin & Co. should have raised a monument for me. :wink:

A few months ago, Vinaria has received an anonymous letter to the editor claiming that quite obviously Mr. Pronay stands on the payroll of the screwcap industry ... I was quite amused ... :D
Ceterum censeo corticem esse delendam
no avatar
User

Michael Pronay

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

320

Joined

Mon May 01, 2006 1:47 pm

Location

Vienna, Austria

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Michael Pronay » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:27 pm

Bob Ross wrote:"Well, beginning from vintage 2005, there will be one super premium wine with a choice of closure under screw-cap: Grange."

Thanks, Michael, I missed that news.

Bob,

to the best of my knowledge it was not officially anounced. It was mentioned to me a few weeks ago by the managing director of Penfold's importer to Austria. I specifically asked wether this was undercover info, and he replied: "No, the importers know it, but there hasn't been a press release." This quite obviously will follow when Grange 2005 will be offered as future.
Ceterum censeo corticem esse delendam
User avatar
User

Robin Garr

Rank

Forum Janitor

Posts

17375

Joined

Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm

Location

Louisville, KY

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Robin Garr » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:20 pm

Michael Pronay wrote:Within the specialized press, I'm known as "Mister Screwcap", and Peter Moser from Falstaff already meant that Stelvin & Co. should have raised a monument for me. :wink:


I'm impressed, Michael, and certainly never stood in doubt that you put your pen where your opinion is.

That being said, though, I'm suggesting something slightly different than advocacy: An even-handed, objective account in which the reporter asks tough questions of both the Winea Wachau leaders and the young Turks who want to change the rules, laying out their arguments (or, for that matter, exposing the truth that one side has no argument) might go a long way toward clearing the air, and doing so in a way that's all the more powerful because it doesn't take sides.
no avatar
User

jamiegoode

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

8

Joined

Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:58 am

Location

London

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by jamiegoode » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:02 pm

Hmmm, the closure debate can seem a little, shall we say, geeky and boring, but it is an important one - and a complicated one, too.

Let me state here that it's proving incredibly difficult to be a communicator in this debate without being seen as being aligned to either the screwcap and cork lobby! If you aren't a signed up member of the screwcap initiative, they treat you as a cork stooge - but if you aren't a defender of traditional cork, then you are seen as one of the opposition.

It makes life difficult for a wine scientist who is interested in the best way of sealing wine bottles, because at present - based on the best data out there - there is no perfect method.

Quite clearly, cork sucks because of cork taint and variable performance. But it only sucks about 5% of the time. So it stands that if we replace it (which surely we should), then let's choose something that sucks much less than 5% of the time. There are many factors to consider. I've even written a book on the subject. But I'm still unconvinced that tin-lined screwcaps are the answer because it seems that in many cases they don't deliver the wine to the consumer the way the winemaker intended. The very low oxygen transmission afforded by this closure can result in problems with mercaptans, it seems. These are not problems encountered by alternatives such as Diam or ProCork or synthetics or screwcaps with a different liner. Yet the screwcap crusaders have allied themselves so closely with one closure type that they now find themselves unable to consider the wide variety of taint-free closures which are on the market.
no avatar
User

TimMc

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by TimMc » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:20 pm

Let the record clearly show that Randall Grahm and others sharing his often eclectic views have an ax to grind here; they are trying to prove a point.

A true researcher does neither.
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10551

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Hoke » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:06 pm

TimMc wrote:Let the record clearly show that Randall Grahm and others sharing his often eclectic views have an ax to grind here; they are trying to prove a point.

A true researcher does neither.


Damn right! Down with all eclectic views. Don't trust 'em. Just don't.

And point provers too! Down with point provers. Round 'em up. Give 'em what they deserve.
no avatar
User

Sam Platt

Rank

I am Sam, Sam I am

Posts

2334

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:22 pm

Location

Indiana, USA

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Sam Platt » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:59 am

Dammit Hoke! It's about feeling, not about taste. The romance associated with the yanking of the cork matters far more the the TCA ridden wine held within. Please, wake up and smell the moldy card board. :wink:
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
no avatar
User

Michael Pronay

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

320

Joined

Mon May 01, 2006 1:47 pm

Location

Vienna, Austria

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Michael Pronay » Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:34 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I'm impressed, Michael, and certainly never stood in doubt that you put your pen where your opinion is.

That being said, though, I'm suggesting something slightly different than advocacy: An even-handed, objective account in which the reporter asks tough questions of both the Winea Wachau leaders and the young Turks who want to change the rules, laying out their arguments (or, for that matter, exposing the truth that one side has no argument) might go a long way toward clearing the air, and doing so in a way that's all the more powerful because it doesn't take sides.

Robin, the discussion at Vinea Wachau simply isn't happening. When you ask the members of the board, the only answer you get is: "We know that cork can fail. But still we think it's the appropriate closure for top wines, period."

The last time it was on the agenda of their annual general assembly, from some 120 votes present only 6 accounted for a change of the rule to have the choice of screwcaps also for smaragds (it's totally OK for Steinfeder and Federspiel, btw). The discussion whether adopting glass stoppers was only slightly longer, with the same result.

So there are very little young turks. To my knowledge only one producer has converted 100% of his production to screwcaps: Josef Höllmüller in Joching. He doesn't use the term "Smaragd" anymore, of course, but labels his top wines "XLarge". So it's not really an issue, since everybody is free to use whatever closure he likes on smaragd type of wines, as long as he doesn't write "Smaragd" on the label.
Ceterum censeo corticem esse delendam
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10551

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Hoke » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:11 pm

You better watch it, Platt. I've got you down on the list as an eclectic point maker. And what's worse: someone who's more interested in good wine than the container it comes in.
no avatar
User

Graeme Gee

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

178

Joined

Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:13 am

Location

Sydney, Australia

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Graeme Gee » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:41 pm

jamiegoode wrote:But I'm still unconvinced that tin-lined screwcaps are the answer because it seems that in many cases they don't deliver the wine to the consumer the way the winemaker intended. The very low oxygen transmission afforded by this closure can result in problems with mercaptans, it seems. These are not problems encountered by alternatives such as Diam or ProCork or synthetics or screwcaps with a different liner.


Jamie, do you know what proportion of the market is held by the tin-lined caps you hold to be problematic vs. caps with other liners? I understand your reservations over tin, but how many screwcaps out there are tin-lined?
cheers,
Graeme
no avatar
User

Oliver McCrum

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

997

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:08 am

Location

Oakland, CA; Cigliè, Piedmont

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Oliver McCrum » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:02 pm

TimMc wrote:Let the record clearly show that Randall Grahm and others sharing his often eclectic views have an ax to grind here; they are trying to prove a point.

A true researcher does neither.


This makes no sense.

Grahm is trying to make sure his customers don't find tainted wine in his bottles; if that's an 'axe', any right-minded person would grind it. And who said he was a 'researcher?' That's just a straw man.
Oliver
Oliver McCrum Wines
no avatar
User

Oliver McCrum

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

997

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:08 am

Location

Oakland, CA; Cigliè, Piedmont

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Oliver McCrum » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:07 pm

Robin, Michael,

Re banning screwcaps: I have seen the same thing in Italy. At least one of the DOCG appellations requires cork, presumably because of the prestige of the appellation...

I have a producer in the Vermentino di Gallura DOC, that was just made DOCG. They had the same cork problems that everyone else did, so they moved to Altec, because the producer said it would solve all their problems. It didn't, so they went to silicone, which tended to oxidise the wine after 2 years; then their area was changed to DOCG, so they had to go back to cork. ARgggh.
Oliver
Oliver McCrum Wines
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10551

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: Can red wines live under screwcaps? Tyson Stelzer.

by Hoke » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:53 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:
TimMc wrote:Let the record clearly show that Randall Grahm and others sharing his often eclectic views have an ax to grind here; they are trying to prove a point.

A true researcher does neither.


This makes no sense.

Grahm is trying to make sure his customers don't find tainted wine in his bottles; if that's an 'axe', any right-minded person would grind it. And who said he was a 'researcher?' That's just a straw man.


Oliver, you're approaching this the wrong way.

You're responding to Tim as if he's a real person, and a person who possesses the ability to think logically. C'mon, now. Review the different posts Tim has made in the last few months. Think about the type of debates he has enagaged in, and the points he has attempted to make.

Are these the acts and words and thoughts of a real person? Nope, I think Tim is an artfully constructed persona, with a devious (and quite talented) puppet master behind the facade.

Now I won't dispute that there are people this obtuse and downright idiotic out there...but Tim's just too good to be true, don't you think?

Nah, he's just a trolling persona, thassall. No sense getting upset about that. As a matter of fact, I think it's a great situation: you don't even have to have the best argument in response to his utterings. In comparison, pretty much anything you say will seem profound. :D

It's a crafty and deliciously devious way to champion the rise of screwcaps. Oliver. Have fun with it.
Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 3 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign