EP 17 Episode #17 – Screw Caps, New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs

2005 Governors Bay Sauvignon Blanc

2005 Babich Sauvignon Blanc

2004 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc

2005 Kim Crawford Sauv Blanc

2004 Nobilo Sauv Blanc Icon

Gary talks about screw caps and explores five sauvignon blanc wines from New Zealand. Watch as Gary ventures through the Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough and weighs in on the screw top debate in the wine industry.

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luca bercelli

91/100

Great episode; Gary’s in depth descriptions of all these wines makes you really want to try them. Entertaining and educational – that’s a winning combination

Tags: New Zealand, review, sauvignon blanc, Video, white wines, wine, wines

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  • Stéphane

    Fantastic podcast I would love to leave more intricate feedback, but I’ll keep it short as it is getting late here. Your views are very educational for a Frenchman living in the US as you mention today’s wine producing hotspots – an area far from my conservative expertise. However I must make a comment on your pronounciation of “Sauvignon Blanc”. You have it right until the very last letter – it is silent. So just say it as you do now but drop the hard “c” at the end!

  • Stéphane

    Fantastic podcast I would love to leave more intricate feedback, but I’ll keep it short as it is getting late here. Your views are very educational for a Frenchman living in the US as you mention today’s wine producing hotspots – an area far from my conservative expertise. However I must make a comment on your pronounciation of “Sauvignon Blanc”. You have it right until the very last letter – it is silent. So just say it as you do now but drop the hard “c” at the end!

  • Bill T.

    Your comments regarding ‘Screwcaps’ was informative and poses a seemingly innocent question about the bottles and their storage. Most wines are currently stored on their sides to keep the cork from drying out and preventing leakage. Does the advent of screw tops mean that the wines no longer have to be stored in this manner?

  • Bill T.

    Your comments regarding ‘Screwcaps’ was informative and poses a seemingly innocent question about the bottles and their storage. Most wines are currently stored on their sides to keep the cork from drying out and preventing leakage. Does the advent of screw tops mean that the wines no longer have to be stored in this manner?

  • Guy

    Stephane, You’re sure doing nothing to negate the typical American’s stereotype of a “Frenchman”. Bonjour.

  • Guy

    Stephane, You’re sure doing nothing to negate the typical American’s stereotype of a “Frenchman”. Bonjour.

  • ronguy

    Gary, I really enjoy your videos. Keep them coming. However, I was dissappoionted that you didn’t cover the the closure issues I raised in my reply after video #11.

  • ronguy

    Gary, I really enjoy your videos. Keep them coming. However, I was dissappoionted that you didn’t cover the the closure issues I raised in my reply after video #11.

  • Gary

    Ronguy I am sorry I missed that I will address it soon!

  • Gary

    Ronguy I am sorry I missed that I will address it soon!

  • Eugene

    Gary, I admit that I hate the screw tops for various reasons. It takes something out of the whole wine drinking experience. Now to the technical issues. While I think it is fine to use them on the young wines that are not meant to be aged, do you really think that people would buy expensive wines for cellaring without the real cork?

  • Eugene

    Gary, I admit that I hate the screw tops for various reasons. It takes something out of the whole wine drinking experience. Now to the technical issues. While I think it is fine to use them on the young wines that are not meant to be aged, do you really think that people would buy expensive wines for cellaring without the real cork?

  • http://www.myspace.com/simjewdavis Ryan

    My comment is on the same vein as Eugene’s. I’ve been told that for aging wines, the cork helps promote a small (very small) amount of airflow, or at least some form of reaction to help break down the tannins and that a screw top would prevent this from occurring. Is this just cork producer propaganda?

  • http://www.myspace.com/simjewdavis Ryan

    My comment is on the same vein as Eugene’s. I’ve been told that for aging wines, the cork helps promote a small (very small) amount of airflow, or at least some form of reaction to help break down the tannins and that a screw top would prevent this from occurring. Is this just cork producer propaganda?

  • Joe

    Gary,

    I want to add some color to Ryan’s comment. You made a pretty sweeping blanket statement about the benefits of screwcaps. I absolutely buy into your proposition for Sauv Blancs meant to be drunk within a year. But the majority of my collection is top Napa Cab or classed Bordeaux. Do you know of results from carefully controlled long term aging studies in Bordeaux of screw cap vs cork? I’m drinking Leoville Las Cases and LaTour and even Montelena at 20 to 35 years of age – and they are wonderful. How long would it take a 2005 Leoville in screw cap to reach the pinnacle of maturity? Would it ever? I am very interested if there is a better way than cork – but hesitant to give up on cork just YET….until we get the proof at 20 years of age. What do you think?

  • Joe

    Gary,

    I want to add some color to Ryan’s comment. You made a pretty sweeping blanket statement about the benefits of screwcaps. I absolutely buy into your proposition for Sauv Blancs meant to be drunk within a year. But the majority of my collection is top Napa Cab or classed Bordeaux. Do you know of results from carefully controlled long term aging studies in Bordeaux of screw cap vs cork? I’m drinking Leoville Las Cases and LaTour and even Montelena at 20 to 35 years of age – and they are wonderful. How long would it take a 2005 Leoville in screw cap to reach the pinnacle of maturity? Would it ever? I am very interested if there is a better way than cork – but hesitant to give up on cork just YET….until we get the proof at 20 years of age. What do you think?

  • Dan

    Gary,

    Great to hear your thoughts on the screwcaps. It is sooo disappointing to open a wine and find it has been corked. And this seems to happen far too often.

    As far as the screwcap nay-sayers, my understanding is that the closure manufacturers are now making screwcaps (and other synthetic closures) such that the winemaker can select the amount of air that gets into the wine. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

  • Dan

    Gary,

    Great to hear your thoughts on the screwcaps. It is sooo disappointing to open a wine and find it has been corked. And this seems to happen far too often.

    As far as the screwcap nay-sayers, my understanding is that the closure manufacturers are now making screwcaps (and other synthetic closures) such that the winemaker can select the amount of air that gets into the wine. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

  • http://www.brandonwmiller.com/ Brandon M

    At Rubicon this past weekend I asked one of the cave tour guides what Rubicon’s thought was on screw caps. He tried to tell me it was impossible to age wine that didn’t have a cork. I was totally thrown off by it…I thought wine would age a little with time no matter what….now I have to ask that question….was he right?

    B

  • http://www.brandonwmiller.com Brandon M

    At Rubicon this past weekend I asked one of the cave tour guides what Rubicon’s thought was on screw caps. He tried to tell me it was impossible to age wine that didn’t have a cork. I was totally thrown off by it…I thought wine would age a little with time no matter what….now I have to ask that question….was he right?

    B

  • Mike F.

    I was prejudiced against SB after having tried a bottle or two many years ago and declaring it thin and overly acidic. I’ve been reformed since, although I missed the boat on the resurgence of SB when New Zealand came out hard on the scene. The summer is over here and I only managed to try one this season, but I will make an effort to try some New Zealand SB in the near future. I do like the way you understand how people are in love with fancy shmancy corks, but you fire off zingers like snobby, snotty, and nose in the sky to describe their usage. Heh heh. Cork shmork I say. I can still open a screw top faster than any new fangled rabbit type opener. I would like to hear more however on the ongoing debate on the necessity of cork for the proper aging for premium cuvees. If these wines require 10 to 20 years or more to reach their necessary maturity, then I guess it’s hard to do a side-by-side comparison, since very few producers of a $100 plus bottling are resistant to their use even today.

  • Mike F.

    I was prejudiced against SB after having tried a bottle or two many years ago and declaring it thin and overly acidic. I’ve been reformed since, although I missed the boat on the resurgence of SB when New Zealand came out hard on the scene. The summer is over here and I only managed to try one this season, but I will make an effort to try some New Zealand SB in the near future. I do like the way you understand how people are in love with fancy shmancy corks, but you fire off zingers like snobby, snotty, and nose in the sky to describe their usage. Heh heh. Cork shmork I say. I can still open a screw top faster than any new fangled rabbit type opener. I would like to hear more however on the ongoing debate on the necessity of cork for the proper aging for premium cuvees. If these wines require 10 to 20 years or more to reach their necessary maturity, then I guess it’s hard to do a side-by-side comparison, since very few producers of a $100 plus bottling are resistant to their use even today.

  • David Canada

    Think Bordeaux will ever go screwcap…even in 40 years? I don’t think so…

  • David Canada

    Think Bordeaux will ever go screwcap…even in 40 years? I don’t think so…

  • vibemore

    In the past couple of weeks I have tasted both the ’05 and ’06 Kim Crawford’s. I found the ’06 to be much smoother and the ’05 to be quite tart. It was interesting seeing this episode.

    I think I am really starting to get over my screw cap phobia. I just wish they would start making screw caps with that lovely popping sound the cork makes.

  • vibemore

    In the past couple of weeks I have tasted both the ’05 and ’06 Kim Crawford’s. I found the ’06 to be much smoother and the ’05 to be quite tart. It was interesting seeing this episode.

    I think I am really starting to get over my screw cap phobia. I just wish they would start making screw caps with that lovely popping sound the cork makes.

  • Daniel O

    I totally agree with you on the screwcap issue. I don’t understand why some people get so snotty about it. What about other closures? I’ve heard about glass stopper closures but never actually seen them. So far all I’ve seen are corks, synthetic corks, and Stelvin screwcaps.

    I came across this article online that I thought was interesting: http://www.delongwine.com/news/2006/08/15/a-little-closure/

  • Daniel O

    I totally agree with you on the screwcap issue. I don’t understand why some people get so snotty about it. What about other closures? I’ve heard about glass stopper closures but never actually seen them. So far all I’ve seen are corks, synthetic corks, and Stelvin screwcaps.

    I came across this article online that I thought was interesting: http://www.delongwine.com/news/2006/08/15/a-little-closure/

  • WA Ambassador

    Amen to screw caps. Not only are they better for the wine, but you don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring a corkscrew with you when you bring a bottle of wine.

  • WA Ambassador

    Amen to screw caps. Not only are they better for the wine, but you don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring a corkscrew with you when you bring a bottle of wine.

  • The Fanjestic

    I like em’ both but if they make a screwcap – that’s what I buy.

    If you want romance, build a fire and and put on some music. If the sound of a cork being pop’d openned is your definition of romance – I feel sorry for your partner.

  • The Fanjestic

    I like em’ both but if they make a screwcap – that’s what I buy.

    If you want romance, build a fire and and put on some music. If the sound of a cork being pop’d openned is your definition of romance – I feel sorry for your partner.

  • lawschooldrunk

    It’s that sweater again!!!

    hmmm, which one am I: confused or SNOTTY? I think snotty.

    So, have you seen corks disappearing like you predicted?

    don’t corks let the bottle breath and age? how do the screw tops allow that?

    I can hear the birds in the background!

    versantay=bubbly. never knew that.

    by the way,I totally thought you were going to say the 2nd to last wine smelled like horse sh** but you saved yourself and turned it into radish.

  • lawschooldrunk

    It’s that sweater again!!!

    hmmm, which one am I: confused or SNOTTY? I think snotty.

    So, have you seen corks disappearing like you predicted?

    don’t corks let the bottle breath and age? how do the screw tops allow that?

    I can hear the birds in the background!

    versantay=bubbly. never knew that.

    by the way,I totally thought you were going to say the 2nd to last wine smelled like horse sh** but you saved yourself and turned it into radish.

  • Dan Leavy

    i like the screwcaps. it will be interesting to see how they fare after 50 years…

    word 17 “that”

  • Dan Leavy

    i like the screwcaps. it will be interesting to see how they fare after 50 years…

    word 17 “that”

  • John__J

    there you go. the 1st true trademark Gary wine description i’ve noticed. ;almost like if you dropped a jolly rancher on the cement and picked it up and there was some rock on it.’ lol that was great.

  • John J.

    there you go. the 1st true trademark Gary wine description i’ve noticed. ;almost like if you dropped a jolly rancher on the cement and picked it up and there was some rock on it.’ lol that was great.

  • corkscrew

    Gary, agree with screwcaps for most white wines, but since there is no long term data on aging a bottle with a screwcap then you will never the majority of reds without a cork. I have had Babich, Kim Carwford and Nobilio all good value….boy in these early shows allot of Sav Blanc…..too much for my palate. http://www.winelx.com

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P6Q7W6SAPBXFDB6CJQONIPGD2I Allan

    Of course screw-caps is the future!

    Will be looking forward to the 2068 Chateau La Tour, with a screw-cap!!! ; )

    NZ rocks!

  • http://twitter.com/cellarguy Jeremy Cox

    Thanks for another great episode. I love the Kim Crawford Sauv. And as far as screw tops… it will make people mad at first when they see their favorite wine become hermetically sealed, but they will get over it.

  • Anonymous

    Good point about not having data to support that srewtops are fine for long aging wine, so even if just for the image (a winery wanting to put out the image that they are making a wine that will improve over many years) I think we’ve still got quite a few years of corks. I personnally like srewtops and the fact that they are versatile, don’t need to keep your bottles horizontal….
    The Kim Crawford is huge here in Qc but the other ones, I have not tried, I don’t know about the states but here in 2011, you can get a good bottle of Loire Sauv Blanc for the same price as a good New Zealand Sauv blanc, so I usually do that as I find them a little more dry and acidic which I like in white wine.

  • Anonymous

    Top 25 AGAIN!!!! i can totally see corks coming back in 40-50 years. I can see the most ultra-premium corks selling at a redonkulous price too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=898480550 Samantha ‘Twyst’ Vraa

    Screw tops are so much easier than corks, but I love the sound of corks popping. COME TO VT!!!

  • luca bercelli

    91/100

    Great episode; Gary’s in depth descriptions of all these wines makes you really want to try them. Entertaining and educational – that’s a winning combination

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