Interesting Article Re: Various Bottle Closures

Picture shows 14 bottles of same wine cellared together for a decade using different bottle closures. Not the most scientific of articles, but the picture of the various bottles is certainly interesting.

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AWRI Closure study - this picture DOES say at least a thousand words . . . . .

BUT, who’s to say that the more golden examples don’t taste better? This is Semillon we’re talking about…

I’m with Berto. Looks don’t mean anything. Only tasting the wines will tell the story.

I doubt ANYONE is surprised the Stelvin preserved the wine best. But when it comes to aging wines preservation is not the #1 concern. That thing could be so reductive as to be undrinkable as well.

Any bets on who funded the study?

Jaime said some of them were undrinkable. Are you guys disputing that?

Harvey Steinman at WS also tasted these and found the same as Jaime . . .

The study was conducted - and funded - by the AWRI . . . The impetus for the study, which started in the late 90’s, IIRC, was to find alternative closures for the Australian market. They were seeing very high TCA rates, feeling that they were truly getting ‘second rate corks’ from all suppliers, and therefore felt they had to do something.

The main thrust was to look at all synthetics currently available on the market, as well as some in the works, and therefore 11 of the 14 wines in question were bottled under synthetics . . . Two were bottled under cork (different lengths) and one was bottled under screwcap. They did a pretty large test, large enough to open a number of wines at approx. 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years after bottling, and enough to develop some pretty cool statistics as well . . .

The bottom lines? As you can clearly see, the synthetics at that time did not do a good job of preventing oxidation - and those wines did not hold up well (taste-wise either guys and gals). The wines under cork were quite variable - showing that trans ox rates in corks were incredibly variable - from very very low to almost as high as some of the synthetics . . .And the trans ox on the screw cap bottles was very similar to the ‘best’ corks . . .

Just a little more info this AM . . .

Did they only do a trial with this one wine? Did they do a similar trial with a red? It seems if you’re going to go through all this trouble, you might want to add a red wine as well for the sake of completeness.


There was no red wine included in the study at that time . . . Should you read George Tabor’s book, you’ll know that there were a series of trials done in the late 70’s with red wines put under screw cap - but these ‘trials’ were not ‘scientifically’ carried out as the AWRI study was - and therefore can only be considered ‘anecdotal’ to many . . . but still are quite interesting for those interested in the subject!


Hell no. As Larry points out synthetic closures suck. I just don’t think the one under Stelvin looking brand new still means a lot.

But he did say it tasted like a classically aged Semillon. If it tasted aged to him, it must not have been completely static and primary under screw cap.

This proves very little. I agree with Roberto for sure.


Are stelvins inert? I mean, what’s to say that some of the metals/plastics/off gasses are simply not allowing the wine to change color…color not related to taste whatsoever. I’m sure you could open any of the darker bottles on the right, add some sorta chemical (I’m not a chemist) that would instantly change the color. I don’t know…like bleach or something?