Damaged screwcap, but wine still in good nick
In all my years of opening screw-capped wines, several thousand bottles a year, I have never seen a seriously damaged cap. Until this week.
The cap was damaged to the extent that the metal was split – the aluminium broken and the wadding damaged. The wine was ullaged, so it seemed wine had seeped out, although there was no other sign of leaking, such as a stained label. However, the level was near the base of the neck, well below where it should be – probably 5cm below the normal fill-height of a screw-capped wine.The wonder was that this wine was still in good nick despite apparent leakage.
However, there was nothing in the aroma or taste that suggested the wine had been compromised. Without having a second bottle to compare, I’d say it was in mint condition. But I wouldn’t keep a wine like that: it could only deteriorate with further keeping.
The wine was an Adelaide Hills pinot grigio, whose name I won’t mention as it’s not a winery issue: the damage almost certainly happened in transit.
The wonder was that this wine was still in good nick despite apparent leakage with – you’d have to conclude – a similar volume of air getting in.
If you find yourself in the possession of such a bottle, I’d suggest you take it back to the place it was purchased and ask for a replacement. No self-respecting winemaker would want to risk their wine being presented out of condition.
*Read my previous article Australia’s latest Master of Wine’s screwcap claim sparks retorts here.