Synthetic corks

This evening, I was aghast to discover that JL Chave CdR Mon Coeur '18 has a plastic cork. Whilst the (thoroughly enjoyable) wine will benefit from quite a bit more ageing, the closure gives me zero confidence in allowing the wine the time it needs. My remaining bottles will be opened over the short term.
It is about time producer & retailers provided this information to consumers.
I’m all for disclosure of things like this, but I also have fair confidence that an operation like Chave knows what they are doing with their closures even at the bottom level. I guess it depends on how many years you’re thinking of Mark, the 2015 was still going strong with a couple of bottles to go, do you think that would be risky or are you thinking of much longer ?
There appears to be some clever science in the screw tops.As mentioned it is important to know what you are getting prior to purchase.I recall some 25 years ago Penfolds produced some Bin 2 with different the 3 different openings with a view to finding what customers wanted. Henschke really seem to have thought about it and researched the openings significantly though I suspect with many of the cheaper wines cost is an issue.
Was it a Nomacorc? I think aesthetically they are pretty hideous but I understand the new generation is significantly more reliable than previous iterations, and there is a more "eco-friendly" range which is made from sugar cane polymers and is fully recyclable, so quite a few growers on the organic end of the spectrum have been using them.

Some info here
I wonder if the producer didn't want to use a screw-cap as it might, just might, be perceived as a cheaper wine in the minds of their buyers and instead opted for the plastic cork concealed under the capsule. Just a thought.

I routinely age good CdRs and I know I would be horrified if, on opening a 20 year old CdR, find an insanely resistant, hardened, plastic cork under the capsule.

Tom Cannavan

I think the high end synthetics like Nomacorc have improved immeasurably in terms of elasticity and controlled oxygen ingress, and are far removed from the cheaper plastic bungs you still find on the cheapest wines. But like others here, I think I prefer screwcap as an alternative to cork, which is possibly illogical. I'm not sure what it is about cutting the foil and discovering a synthetic cork, but it instills a tiny level of negativity that an up-front screwcap doesn't.
My heart invariably sinks when I remove the capsule from a bottle and find a plastic cork beneath. But I may fall into the category Russell has in mind when he says that some of us aren't up to speed with developments in the field. I have to admit that although I have in the past had many spoiled wines from bottles closed with plastic, it's probably not happened wwithin the past couple of yeaars, even with bottles 5-7 years or so old.

Tom Cannavan

:) Well I'd have to guess that was second from right, though the bend on the extreme right must surely be natural cork too. Third from left certainly looks synthetic. Good game.
I’m for the second from the right. Along with blind tasting, blind cork spotting is one of my weaknesses, so if you want to join in and be correct then I’d choose another to increase your chances.
Let’s make it like battleships.

C - Natural Cork (one piece)
A - Agglomerate Cork
S - Synthetic.

submit your answer in the following format.


When/If someone gets it right I’ll give £50 to Pebbles (for newer forumites this is a South African charity with longtime links here). One submission per forumite per 2 hour period ;)
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