Strangest wine closure yet?

A quick aside to look at an odd “cork” I came across the other day.

This is the Ardea Seal AS-Elite (also, apparently known as the Guala Seal Elite) …, what do YOU make of it?

This is taking “technical” corks to the extreme as it is a HIGHLY engineered replacement for cork that includes three different elements and, in theory has all the benefits of cork (flexible, reliable, etc.) without the drawbacks (cork taint).

It looks … a little odd however, don’t you think? (Yes, I admit it, I childishly compared this to a suppository in appearance – I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere)

One thing is sure, I bet it can’t be cheap.

This closure was in an extremely expensive bottle of Grand Cru Burgundy. It seems that Burgundy producers looked at this closure because of the problems they have had with “premature oxidation“*, particularly in whites. 

What is interesting is that this particular bottle was subject of some discussion by the tasters during a “blind” tasting (I got the photos only afterwards) where several of us thought that the wine was “reduced” … and therefore affected by TOO LITTLE oxidation (to put it simply).

It would seem a bit more evidence that there is NO “best” closure for wine bottles. All extremists, whether for / against the alternatives such as cork, screwcap, Nomacork, etc. need to acknowledge that this is a complex debate and instead of pushing agendas, wineries should explain why they made their own decision.

As a consumer, don’t be put off by a wine because of how it is closed, but do ask whether the closure chosen “fits” the story of the wine as you understand it. The art is not just in the finished work, but also in the choice of materials.

* the wines from certain vintages in Burgundy basically got ‘old’ really fast and tasted tired and flabby. It happened to a LOT of expensive wines at the same time and no-one was quite sure why.