Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stelvin Closures and the Spirit of Approachability

There is probably nothing more off-putting to a wine connoisseur than to see an expensive, hard-to-come-by wine sporting a screw cap. And back in 2001, even most wine professionals were shocked when they heard that Plumpjack Winery, a Napa Valley producer of decadent Cabernet Sauvignons had decided to bottle half of their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon production under Stelvin closures, the most respected and highest quality screw cap in the industry. The uproar was significant considering the fact that most wine buyers associated screw caps with cheap wine. Still, to this day, consumers are reluctant to accept them despite over three decades of research and testing that has shown them to consistently deliver wines in perfect condition.

Cork, a natural and increasingly limited resource unfortunately, continues to decline 
in its ability to guarantee a quality wine every time. Corks fail on a consistent basis by either allowing too much oxidation or by tainting the wine with a contaminant called Trichloroanisole. Corks are not perfect 100% of the time and they will typically fail when you least want them to – at an important dinner party when you’ve finally decided to open a prized bottle.  Cork is still the preferred closure for those wines that require considerable aging, but with very convincing research that shows that approximately 95% of all wine gets consumed within a week of its purchase, it just makes good sense to look for wines that feature a Stelvin closure.

And this is why an increasing number of the more progressive wine producing 
regions are moving away from cork and adopting Stelvin closures. The more wine consumers know about this technology, the more confident they will become; knowing that winemakers are so determined to deliver their wines in the best possible condition – that they’re bottling with “screw caps”.  And then there’s Plumpjack’s rationale …that Stelvin closures convey a “spirit of approachability”