2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

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PrestonS
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2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#1 Post by PrestonS » December 2nd, 2019, 5:49 pm

Sadly, this bottle from Ceritas is corked. Popped it open when I got home from work this evening and immediately smelled the dreaded wet newspaper. Did John and Phoebe have cork problems in the 2015 vintage?
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Chuck Miller
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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#2 Post by Chuck Miller » December 2nd, 2019, 11:12 pm

Not sure how you can extrapolate one corked bottle into your (invalid) conclusion. Feel free to peruse all the tasting notes on CT of 2015 Ceritas wines and see if you find a pattern. I did, you won’t see a pattern.
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PrestonS
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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#3 Post by PrestonS » December 3rd, 2019, 6:32 am

It was a question. Plain and simple.
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Alan Rath
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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#4 Post by Alan Rath » December 3rd, 2019, 9:03 am

Conventional wisdom says that corked bottles happen as much as 5% of the time, just randomly. It's probably less for smaller producers who pay for higher quality inspected corks, or do some sampling on their own, but you're bound to get a corked bottle once in a while. CellerTracker has 26 notes on this wine, all of them positive, most of them rating the wine at 90 or above, no mention of any corked bottles. I'd say you just got unlucky. Get in touch with them, you'll probably get a replacement or credit.
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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#5 Post by James Kennedy » December 3rd, 2019, 12:11 pm

John and Phoebe are super responsive. Have had one corked ceritas over dozens of bottles and it was promptly fixed.

Bet that ‘15 PMR is incredible. Too bad mine won’t last more than a couple years.

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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#6 Post by Joe S. » December 3rd, 2019, 7:46 pm

Have consumed up to about 20 Ceritas wines back through 2013 and none of mine have been corked. (Yes, I am moderately sensitive to TCA.)
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Adam Frisch
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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#7 Post by Adam Frisch » December 3rd, 2019, 10:41 pm

Lafite and a few other cork producers offer cork selections that are guaranteed TCA free. The corks are more expensive as they have to be individually tested. And as a small cash-strapped producer I was in two minds about it initially myself. Questioned if it was worth it. But once you factor into account that maybe 3-5% of bottles you deliver end up corked, the hassle and cost of replacing and shipping those, the time to deal with it, not to mention the bad juju from having customers getting a corked bottle from you, it's a small extra premium to pay. Not sure why not more wineries use them. Price is about $0.4-0.5/bottle for the lower end TCA-tested corks. Yes, expensive, but for a wine in the $25-30 region I think it's an acceptable cost.
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Re: 2015 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay

#8 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 4th, 2019, 12:03 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 10:41 pm
Lafite and a few other cork producers offer cork selections that are guaranteed TCA free. The corks are more expensive as they have to be individually tested. And as a small cash-strapped producer I was in two minds about it initially myself. Questioned if it was worth it. But once you factor into account that maybe 3-5% of bottles you deliver end up corked, the hassle and cost of replacing and shipping those, the time to deal with it, not to mention the bad juju from having customers getting a corked bottle from you, it's a small extra premium to pay. Not sure why not more wineries use them. Price is about $0.4-0.5/bottle for the lower end TCA-tested corks. Yes, expensive, but for a wine in the $25-30 region I think it's an acceptable cost.
The automated TCA testing machines (the basis of the ~50 cent corks) guarantee no more than 0.5 ng/L of TCA. Folks sensitivity to TCA varies, but the problem is their sensory threshold range is 2-5 ng/L (the sensory threshold are (generally) based on when someone can detect wet cardboard/etc of TCA...below that limit you can get muted aromas/flavors due to the TCA, the muted part is harder to quantify hence isn't included). Seems like these testing machines are a step in the right direction, but not actually worthwhile at the moment. On second thought, while there will still be corks that folks will notice (wet cardboard, some just barely, or muted), but the percent of TCA affected corks would go way down (since the machine would reject the corks with higher than 0.5 ng/l), and that's definitely a good thing. Still, other options seem better.

There are other TCA free corks (solid 'single punch' corks), that have been analysed & treated (and whatever else) that cost well upwards of a dollar per cork...not sure what TCA level those corks let through, would be curious to know. Also, of the ones I've seen (not recently) the guarantee includes money back for verified tainted corks (I forget how much money, sadly)...a good thing, but it does make me wonder if this strategy is in part 'insurance', rather than purely curative, based.

In the world of cork based closures, Diam & Trefinos (similar approach to Diam) seem to be the workable options right now. Along with screwcaps & the various synthetic closures of course.
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