Saturday, December 08, 2007
A New Contender
The battle between screw cap and cork is pretty much over in Australia, with the screw cap emerging a decisive winner, even some French wine companies have turned to this closure, though at the top end of the market there is still some resistance. However, not everyone shares our belief in screw cap technology. It came as a surprise when I opened this bottle of Austrian gruner veltliner, to discover that what appeared to be a screw cap, was in fact a protective cover for a glass stopper lurking underneath.
The stopper itself is not very big and the tapered plug only inserts some 2cm (3/4") into the bottle, but it does have an effective seal as it pops ever so slightly when pulled out. The only difficulty lay in the stopper being somewhat stubborn to remove by hand. The Austrians, and I believe some Germans, must have looked at the success of the screw cap in preserving quality, particularly in delicate and aromatic white wines, but perhaps felt they needed something that looked a bit classier, more in keeping with their long and mostly illustrious wine history.
The wine, from the grape variety gruner veltliner, is largely unknown in this country, but enjoys some popularity and a good reputation in its homeland Austria. The nose was flint with a touch of smoke and the aromatic fruit was mouth filling, but fell away quickly, leaving traces of mineral with an extended length. Altogether a pleasing wine that would work well with seafood and has enough weight to cope with spicy sausages.