An international panel of judges voted in favour of the expressions
aged under screwcap, a particularly impactful result to occur on Italian
soil, where this closure was until recently banned from use in many of the country’s most prestigious wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, and still remains controversial.
By contrast, many Australian winemakers have embraced screwcap for
long enough to have built up evidence of how this closure performs for
wines produced with a considerable period of bottle aging in mind.
“These wines have the potential to break down prejudices, as this
tasting has demonstrated,” commented Stelzer. He also noted that
overcoming the “misconception” that screwcaps are inferior formed part
of a wider challenge for Australian of building a global following for
its top wines.
Reacting to the result, Venice sommelier Annie Martin-Stefannato
admitted: “we will have to change our mindset”. Meanwhile Panama wine
expert Fabrizio Cezzi expressed his surprise at the outcome, saying: “I
did not expect that they would age so well – even better than under
cork, it really surprised me.”
Despite the findings of this event, the cork industry continues to fight its corner. In addition to extensive research to tackle TCA, or cork taint, companies such as Amorim have also investigated the beneficial influences brought to a wine by the phenolic compounds that are naturally present in cork stoppers.
Meanwhile synthetic closure specialist Nomacorc has now launched a stopper derived partly from plant-based polymers
rather than oil, as well as offering its Select Series product in a
variety of Oxygen Transmission Rates to suit different styles of wine.