WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:42 pm

Victor - Hoke did not say that we will stop learning. But he is right that all the facts will never be in. That's been my whole issue with this debate. There will never be a comprehensive study of every single mid to long-term aging wine covering 30 vintages side-by-side to see the effects of screw cap versus cork, and until that day (that never comes) the skeptics will never be convinced.

So here we are back in the same position we were in before the thread ever started. At least if we were on eBob Mark would have closed the thread for Hoke's Bush comment. That would be progress.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Tim York » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:09 pm

David M. Bueker wrote: There will never be a comprehensive study of every single mid to long-term aging wine covering 30 vintages side-by-side to see the effects of screw cap versus cork, and until that day (that never comes) the skeptics will never be convinced.



That is a "reductio ad absurdum", David.

David M. Bueker wrote:
So here we are back in the same position we were in before the thread ever started.


I beg to differ. We have had some very balanced and knowledgeable contributions in particular from Nigel, Victor and Hoke. I may not be alone in thinking that my awareness of the various issues and present doubts surrounding the main contending closures, including screwcaps, has been considerably advanced.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Hoke » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:10 pm

I'm not as cynical as you, David. :wink:

These arguments do seem futile, with many of the same people engaging in the same points over and over again. But I think progress is being made nonetheless. Each time we do this, perhaps another mind is opened a bit, made a bit more receptive.

As I love to point out, even the self-appointed curmudgeon of cork, Rogov himself, has moved noticeably from his orginal "NEVER!!!" to "Well, sometime" in his stance. If such an Easter Island statue of corkish propinquity can embrace...well, er, maybe I should say admit...change on the topic, there's hope for mankind. 8)
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:16 pm

I guess I am just more cynical about mankind than you are. Must be the workplace getting to me.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Oswaldo Costa » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:21 pm

I, too, think useful information has been exchanged and, though I am in the screwcap camp, I think Nigel has been treated unfairly, as he was carrying his side of the argument with courtesy and civility until arrows started to fly, and even then maintained more control than perhaps I would have.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:31 pm

Sorry about that. I've heard the story more than once & got impatient with it.

At work I am in change of advancing change at a very rapid clip. It makes me very intolerant of what I see as slow, deliberate, overly cautious action/inaction.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:43 pm

Hoke wrote:As I love to point out, even the self-appointed curmudgeon of cork, Rogov himself, has moved noticeably from his orginal "NEVER!!!" to "Well, sometime" in his stance. If such an Easter Island statue of corkish propinquity can embrace...well, er, maybe I should say admit...change on the topic, there's hope for mankind.



Hoke, Hi.....


With regard to Easter Island, worth keeping in mind that only two of the monoliths were originally located within the sight of the sea, most being dispersed well inland on the island. Only after World War II when the islanders realized that having the monoliths more easily available and in sight of the beach would attract more tourists, were those monoliths moved by the bulldozers and cranes of the US Marine Corps and Navy Seabees then stationed on the island. Profit was ensured. Romance lost.

Keeping the faith.

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Tim York » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:28 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Sorry about that. I've heard the story more than once & got impatient with it.

At work I am in change of advancing change at a very rapid clip. It makes me very intolerant of what I see as slow, deliberate, overly cautious action/inaction.


Impatience and the desire for rapid results often lead to a mind-set which ignores facts and reasoned argument. History is littered with disasters as a result of this.

No doubt, you guard against this in your professional life, David.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:47 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:With regard to Easter Island, worth keeping in mind that only two of the monoliths were originally located within the sight of the sea, most being dispersed well inland on the island. Only after World War II when the islanders realized that having the monoliths more easily available and in sight of the beach would attract more tourists, were those monoliths moved by the bulldozers and cranes of the US Marine Corps and Navy Seabees then stationed on the island. Profit was ensured. Romance lost.


Um, can you cite a source?
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:03 pm

Tim York wrote:Impatience and the desire for rapid results often lead to a mind-set which ignores facts and reasoned argument. History is littered with disasters as a result of this.

No doubt, you guard against this in your professional life, David.


History is also littered with businesses that did not react to changing market conditions quickly enough.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:14 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:History is also littered with businesses that did not react to changing market conditions quickly enough.

Staying on topic, though, and not (really) trying to stir the pot, discuss the synthetic cork, which prompted quite a few producers to make a bold and speedy switch, but then discover they had made a costly move when they proved less than ideal for longer-lived wines.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Tim York » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:15 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Tim York wrote:Impatience and the desire for rapid results often lead to a mind-set which ignores facts and reasoned argument. History is littered with disasters as a result of this.

No doubt, you guard against this in your professional life, David.


History is also littered with businesses that did not react to changing market conditions quickly enough.


So we agree that balance is necessary.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:18 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:History is also littered with businesses that did not react to changing market conditions quickly enough.

Staying on topic, though, and not (really) trying to stir the pot, discuss the synthetic cork, which prompted quite a few producers to make a bold and speedy switch, but then discover they had made a costly move when they proved less than ideal for longer-lived wines.


I won't defend it as I never liked it. It was fraught with issues about extraction from day 1, and showed very quickly an accellerated oxidation rate in the wines. It destroyed itself as a viable, long-term solution.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Hoke » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:42 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:History is also littered with businesses that did not react to changing market conditions quickly enough.

Staying on topic, though, and not (really) trying to stir the pot, discuss the synthetic cork, which prompted quite a few producers to make a bold and speedy switch, but then discover they had made a costly move when they proved less than ideal for longer-lived wines.


Discuss? Okay.

As David points out, the market recovered rapidly to correct what was proven to be a problematic and flawed premise. But part of that 'rush to change' was created by the admittedly egregious sad state of the cork industry and their apparent unwillingness (at that time) to change. It was a step of desperation, by a community that could no longer support the failure rate that cork caused.

And from the very beginning it was fairly clear that the 'synthetic cork' closure was viewed as, and intended to be, nothing but a short-to-medium-term apparatus, and not intended or appropriate for long-term aging. Even at that, apparently, it was a flawed system and apparently works only for very, very short-=term closure (although, considering the breathlessly fast producer-to-consumer rate of the vast majority of wines out there, I expect we will see many sythetic closures for quite some time now).

Still, there was a rush to any alternative that seemed workable at the time, and there was a lashback to that rush. That pretty much says the market handled it as it is supposed to, and the synthetic cork became a Neanderthal instead of a Cro-Magnon.

From the beginning, however, the scewcap showed much more promise as an all-around superior alternative to a much wider range of wine styles---not just the drink-it-quick camp. There are any number of published trials, and significanlty more unofficial and unpublished trials, of the screwcap....and those hardly ever take into account the long history of other-than-cork closures that the non-wine industry has imposed and perfected for many, many years prior to the wine industry considering it for more than simple jug wines.

More trials will emerge; on that I have no doubt. I expect not all of them will be positive, as I think any form of closure has pros and cons. I do believe, however, that the screwcap shows itself to be...and will continue to show itself to be...superior to cork, and currently is superior to any other form of closure.

That other people are not convinced does not surprise me. That some people will never be convinced does not surprise me. That cork will remain viable as a closure neither surprises me nor does it dismay me. I have no need to dominate the closure controversy, and I certainly have no need to require other people to drink from closures they do not care for; likewise, I don't wish those other people to prevent me from drinking from my preferred closures. So I am quite happy with the progress the industry has made, and I expect will continue to make, as we both have choices. Choices we did not have before.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Victorwine » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:50 pm

Hoke wrote:
Ah, but Victor, I can easily counter your statement with one word: Bush.

I wish we could keep politics (and religion (non wine related issues) for that matter) in the “basement”. The “changing of the guard” is going to take place shortly; I have no doubt that the terrorists who hate us dearly are going to “test” this incoming administration. I just pray to God he does the right thing. As far as weapons of mass destruction, I don’t know why people assume it has to be nuclear power related, in today’s day and age it could be a small ampoule or vial. No matter if you agree or disagree with the out going administration’s actions in dealing with terrorists, I think there is one thing we can agree on, and that is because of this administration’s actions, that unforgettable day of 9-11-2001 was not repeated during their “watch”.

Salute
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Hoke » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:00 pm

Victorwine wrote:Hoke wrote:
Ah, but Victor, I can easily counter your statement with one word: Bush.

I wish we could keep politics (and religion (non wine related issues) for that matter) in the “basement”. The “changing of the guard” is going to take place shortly; I have no doubt that the terrorists who hate us dearly are going to “test” this incoming administration. I just pray to God he does the right thing. As far as weapons of mass destruction, I don’t know why people assume it has to be nuclear power related, in today’s day and age it could be a small ampoule or vial. No matter if you agree or disagree with the out going administration’s actions in dealing with terrorists, I think there is one thing we can agree on, and that is because of this administration’s actions, that unforgettable day of 9-11-2001 was not repeated during their “watch”.

Salute


But for me the Bush attitude and approach to the world transcends politics, and was a perfect counterpoint to what you described, Victor.

You said
Why do you say this Hoke? Man is going to stop being man? For centuries man has been asking- How? Why? And When? We might not get to the “truth” but at least we will have a better understanding.




Bush exemplifies a part of us that is content to not question, to not ask the how or why. His attitude is such that he is content with his own "truths", and his mindset can allow no questioning, no deviation from his famous "gut instinct", his "just knowing". Bush never wanted a "better understanding" of anything; he simply wanted to impose his own tightly parochial view of the universe on everyone else. He certainly never wished for, and indeed militated against, a spirit of progress and discovery and enlightnement.

If we're going to talk about Man's nature, we have to talk about all of it, don't we?
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:20 pm

Victorwine wrote:I think there is one thing we can agree on, and that is because of this administration’s actions, that unforgettable day of 9-11-2001 was not repeated during their “watch”.
Salute


London
Mumbai
Madrid
... amongst others and some very lucky escapes

Not direct repeats, but each in their own way a mini 9/11

I'm hoping for a different perspective worldwide and the subtle but persistent marginalisation of extremist views, for whom conflict "justifies" their stance.

I can't believe we're talking politics to escape a wine-seal debate (errr, actually that's not too far fetched when I think about it :oops: )

regards

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:24 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
Daniel Rogov wrote:With regard to Easter Island, worth keeping in mind that only two of the monoliths were originally located within the sight of the sea, most being dispersed well inland on the island. Only after World War II when the islanders realized that having the monoliths more easily available and in sight of the beach would attract more tourists, were those monoliths moved by the bulldozers and cranes of the US Marine Corps and Navy Seabees then stationed on the island. Profit was ensured. Romance lost.


Um, can you cite a source?



Three sources, one verbal from General Randolph McCall Pate, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, circa 1958, one from General Holland M. Smith (known affectionately as Howlin' Mad Smith) and after that checking Marine Corps historical files. That, alas, a good many years ago and no direct primarily references I can give at this stage.

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Victorwine » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:36 pm

To tell you the truth Hoke, I think it was the USS Cole bombing, US Embassy bombings and World Trade Center I bombing that started the thinking and questioning process and the events of 9-11 were the “Pearl Harbor”.

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Graeme Gee » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:51 pm

Tim York wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote: There will never be a comprehensive study of every single mid to long-term aging wine covering 30 vintages side-by-side to see the effects of screw cap versus cork, and until that day (that never comes) the skeptics will never be convinced.

That is a "reductio ad absurdum", David.

I've certainly seen plenty of contributions to various threads over the past few years where the authors have said precisely that: "I'm not buying 1ers / CGs until the 30-year side-by-side proof comes out conclusively in favour of screwcap."
As David says - The trial won't ever be done. Or at least not at the kind of scale that would stand up to Nature-style peer-reviews. Which is what the "dyed-in-the-woolest" sceptics want.

Victor, heck, corks have been sealing wine bottles for a couple of hundred years and we still don't know the exact details of wine aging. Why should less than 10-years of screwcap-sealing provide the answer? It's unreasonable to expect that, and can hardly be offered as a reason to stay with the status quo.

Nigel: fascinating response from Penfolds. No, there's no retail Grange under screwcap for sale anywhere in the world. RWT (with only a ten-year pedigree) is available in Oz under screwcap. But St Henri & Bin 707 (both 40+ year old wines) are still cork-exclusive as far as the 2005 vintage I believe. I'd certainly argue there's more than just technical assessment contributing to Penfolds' decisions about which labels to offer under non-cork closures. And which markets to do it in, of course.

On the very original, original post of the thread - it's good to see some serious quality Bdx under an alternative seal. The more different wine styles are exposed to it, the better.
Sure, there can be a bit of a learning curve in handling a (possibly) less porous seal. But the longer we go without identifying a catastrophic, systematic failure (like oxidising synthetics) among alternative closures, the better things are looking.
And of course, the whole exploration of alternative closures wasn't just whistling in the dark in desperate hope of improvement - there were at least modest-quality bottles of 25-yo wine thus-sealed in this country which gave winemakers the confidence to change from a technical perspective.
That the associated marketing fears then proved unfounded was the real bonus, and took us to where we are today.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Victorwine » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:35 pm

Hi Graeme,
Yes this might be true, but in the last 10 years or so because of screw-caps and various types of liners we have gained some understanding of the “science” of bottle aging. Some grape varieties and styles of wines can benefit from a little more oxygen ingress than others.

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Screw cap Bordeaux

Postby Dale Williams » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:02 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Um, can you cite a source?

Three sources, one verbal from General Randolph McCall Pate, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, circa 1958, one from General Holland M. Smith (known affectionately as Howlin' Mad Smith) and after that checking Marine Corps historical files. That, alas, a good many years ago and no direct primarily references I can give at this stage.


Well, contradicts the vast majority of information on the moai and ahu. While the moai typically were facing inwards, a lot of the ahu (bases) were near the coast, and some are visible from sea (though most tourists fly in, the tourist trade never took off till they got a runway in 60s or 70s. Easter Island was controlled by the Chilean Navy during and after WWII. And Chile was quite leftish during that period.
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