And to top it all off….

Cork & Crown....

Cork & Crown….


An interesting essay here….2 wines….2 “alternative” closures. What are we seeking from our wine closure? Do we care? If it may be screwcap / stelvin which the Australian market is embracing rapidly, even for high quality/cost wines; the rest of the “old world” and some emerging markets (think China) still desire, still demand the cork. So what happens when two makers determine the best closure for how they see their wine, and don’t consider where their booze is to be sold, but just want the right stopper for their product? Well…read on, dear friend.

Cantina Zaccagnini,Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, 2012


Warm milk coffee, cherries and choc raspberry and hint of lipstick. Familiar and comforting. There’s almost a McLaren Vale memory to the nose. The flavours similar.

Easy full red fruit flavours and just right for food tannins.The wine is certainly balanced and food friendly as you’d expect from a MonteD. Looking a friend in garlic and basil and pommodorro, to walk hand in hand with the distinct rustic grip.

Does the Nomacorc make a difference or manipulate the flavour? Hard to tell when the wine is in its youth. The Nomacorc allows max O2 ingress in the first 12 months, then tapering to a maximum each year after that of 1.7 to 1.1 mg of Oxygen (O2) depending on the actual category of Nomacorc.

In the hand it still feels like a plastic artificial cork that one associates with lower cost/quality wines. Will the wine suffer from TCA/Cork Taint? No (not uinless you subscribe to the theory that TCA occurs anywhere, not just from the cork) Will the wine suffer from Random Oxidasation? Not likely if the Nomacorc does its job and only allows/maintain s the maximum ingress of air according to the specifications. Which raises a question: is there room here for compensation should the Nomacorc fail?

How does the Nomacorc speak to the romance of cork? Not sure about the romance, and there in lies the Perception issue. On the beautifully presented rustic bottle, with the decorative twirl of vine, the “peasantry” implications are tacit to the technology inside the neck of the bottle. At $29, this is not an “entry level” wine, so a consumer would have the right to expect that the winemaker has done all they can to ensure the best product possible. And just maybe, the Nomacorc does that. But only time will tell.

Sample courtesy of Enoteca Sileno


Chalmers’ Bucket Wine Barbera, 2014


Here’s the contrast. In a 660ml brown glass “beer bottle,” the Chalmers Bucket Wine Barbera: Hand made, front label hand written and of course hand capped with the crown seal. Nothing else added. Literally just fermented grape juice.

Pops open with the refreshing “pshhhfffft” like any good beer. Lovely fresh, meaty, savoury, peppery blue fruits. Pristine & pure. A zing on the front palate. Slurpable. Unseemingly light but the inherent muscularity of Barbera gives presence. The natural acidity almost provides a dentistry service of teeth cleaning.

You want smoked meats and hard cheeses. You want friends around to share this with to celebrate life in the here and now. And that’s what this seal is meant to do…you can try to re-seal if you really want to, but that’s not the intention. Once you pop you can’t stop. And that’s what the crown seal is all about. Quality inside the bottle..but a collegiate nature for the stopper.

Wine self purchased.






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