I don’t get all that many cork-tainted wines these days. Part of this is that I’m opening quite a few bottles sealed with alternative closures, but also the proportion of tainted natural corks seems to have dropped a little. But I had a big disappointment with a bottle I opened yesterday – one that I was really looking forward to trying. It was a Pic St Loup from Cazeneuve, and it was really nastily corked.
There’s a picture of the offending cork above. Again, a common feature with badly corked wines seems to be big lenticels (the pores in the cork bark that allow gas exchange) running through the wine-contacting face of the cork. Could it be that these harbour the microbes making the haloanisoles that taint the wine?
The other disappointment was the latest vintage, 2007, of the Bellingham Bernard Series Basket Pressed Syrah from South Africa. At £10 in Sainsbury’s, the 2006 was a real hit. The 2007 has lovely fruit, but far, far too much new oak. Such a shame. Over-oaking is almost as bad as cork taint.