Ponsot & Synthetic Corks

Any thoughts on Ponsot’s use of synthetic corks and their effect on aging? What other top tier producers are using them?

The 2011 Edmunds St. John Fenaughty syrah has what appears to be a composite cork or compressed cork chips stopper.

Here’s what Laurent Ponsot thinks: Closures: Part 4 – Synthetic solution for grand cru Burgundy - The Drinks Business

Thanks for posting the article, Robert. I had been nervous about buying ponsot wines with the synthetic corks, but it looks like an impressive amount of research went into the final decision.

Returned my 09 and 10 Charmes and Griottes. Too risky for the price for me at this time. Especially after someone mentioned that synthetic corks have a high fail rate after a few years in Europe. Not these corks but I’d rather wait and see.

It’s a tough conversation, I appreciate both sides… I think Leflaive is using the same corks (I could have the wrong producer in mind) and there was some early evidence of an increase in failure basically right out of the gate.

I bought some 08 Ponsots, which are under the synthetic cork, we’ll see how they do…

The price on the CDLR is astronomical now. I hope these corks hold up.

Andrew more info on the Leflaive if you have it.

Synthetic corks suck…

I bought some 08 CDLR. I’m terrified of the corks, but I got the wines for a good deal and they were delicious on release. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

I stopped buying Ponsot after the 2002 vintage for other reasons, but this would be a deal-killer to me. Burn me once and shame on you. Burn me twice and shame on me.

Why did you stop buying?

From my post last year in the “2009 Ponsots” thread (after the 2012 La Paulee):

I understood the new Ponsot closures are Italian, but I may be wrong. Pretty sure they’re being used on the entire lineup from 2008 forward. I spoke very briefly with Laurent Ponsot at the Verticals Tasting, and I asked him if he had tested them on any cuvees prior to using them wholesale on the 2008s. For what it’s worth, I think he said his “neighbors” (whatever that means) did the testing “for him.” He was obviously just being coy about it (or so I assumed). Anyone know if these have been used by anyone else in Burgundy?

Anyway, at the Grand Tasting I engaged in a conversation between one of the producers and someone he obviously knew fairly well regarding Ponsot’s new closure, and they were, well, let’s be nice and say dubious about the whole thing. They seemed to view it as a highly risky move, but as the producer somewhat sardonically said, “it’s his wine.”

As Lewis noted a couple of posts later, it may be “his wine” but he’s putting all the risk on the consumer!

Seems extremely risky and dangerous to just dive into using these synthetic corks if that is what happened. I sure hope due diligence and extensive testing were carried out before committing all in to these closures. The wines are very expensive and I could see this being a huge disaster if the wines start falling apart a few years down the road. I can’t help but think this could be a much bigger problem for the domaine than the counterfeiting that Laurent so vigorously fought against. With all that said I hope these synthetics are the real deal for everyone’s sake.

there was a discussion a few weeks ago about the same topic:

and here : Natural or synthetic closure ? - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers

If I’m not mistaken an old Board favorite used synthetic corks to seal his wines and they all went bad.

And if synthetic corks were that great one would assume more high end producers would have already switched to them. No?

Robert.Fleming, intriguing read, thanks!



Roberts Fleming & Sand,

Thanks for the info. I think Ponsot makes some sense about the different oxygen permeability of corks and he seems to have made an informed decision. A correct one? We’ll see in 15 or 20 years.

I’ve certainly had bottles from the same case where the wine was stored identically, yet the wines were very different. And I’ve opened plenty of crumbled corks.

deal killer for me too. he also had a white dot that senses temp change. I put it in oven for hour at 350 and it never changed.

For the people whose deal this synthetic kills, have you tasted the wine? I’m not stating this tongue-in-cheek. I’m really curious.

Anecdotal info: Years ago, I learned of a simple experiment of placing the synthetic in a glass of water, and by golly the water’s flavor had a lingering scent of the synthetic when it was removed and tasted. I wonder if the Adrea would pass that test, not that that is the end-all-be-all, just that I’m curious.