Wine bottle closures can cause a lot of debate from consumers to winemakers. We have always been innovative and experimented with new closures as they came on the market. With Diam and Zork we have sourced these closures from overseas until they became available in New Zealand. We use the following closures and each has their benefits. It is sad when a customer forces us to use a certain closure but many times one is not in a position to choose.
We believe the best closure is Diam cork. It is really a no brainier for us. Diam is natural cork that has been ground, cleaned of TCA and cork flavors and put back together with hollow fiber resins.
The cork is ground so it can be thoroughly cleaned. The cleaning procedure is similar to how you decaffeinate tea and coffee and as such is very safe proven food technology. The cleaning removes all traces of TCA and other bacteria as well as the simple cork taste. It is put back together with hollow fiber food resins that allow the cork to breathe. The length and quantity of hollow fiber that is used determines the amount of air that is allowed into the bottle. Red wines require more air than whites and as such the wine maker can order the type of cork required. Because each batch is made exactly the same, every bottle will age in a similar manner, unlike regular natural cork. A space age solution to an old product that allows your wines to age in a manner and style that you are familiar with. The only problem is that many people now want ease of opening without using a cork screw.
The most misunderstood closure. It was supposed to be the perfect closure….but it is far from it. First…no one can debate the ease of opening. But its faults are many. It does promote reduction due to it’s anaerobic nature (keeping out air). Reduction potential can be minimized by copper treatments, but copper also strips flavors. If you belong to the group that believes many favorite wines are are not what they use to be…screw caps may be part of the problem. Wine does age under screw caps, but in a very different manner and much more slowly. The end result are very different wines, especially after a year or two. The less time the wine is in the bottle the less effect you will see. They are very prone to denting at the rim. When this occurs the seal breaks and air gets in…uncontrolled. They are not our favorite closure but we have used them when certain customers require them. They became popular because of the high amounts of TCA found in cheaper natural corks….also because of a lot of hype from winery owners and winemakers that were not well versed in wine chemistry. The press picked up on the hype and the screw cap boom was on. This trend has slowed down in recent years.
An interesting alternative that we prefer to screw cap. Zork is a plastic closure that also has ease of opening. It is not a closure that one would choose for wines that are bottle aged for over four years. It works better than a screw cap because it allows aerobic aging similar to cork. Of course there are no flavor or TCA problems and denting is not a problem. It does require carefully matching of a bottle to make sure it fits well. Once this is done you have a very good intermediate range closure that opens as easy as a screw cap. In addition your wines will age in a similar manner to a cork closure.