John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

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John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby JDSJDS » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:10 pm

John Gilman is a wine writer in the U.S., kind of an 'anti-Parker' type who has long railed against high alcohol wines, over-ripeness, commercial yeasts, etc. He tends to champion small growers and terroir.

He was recently interviewed and talked about the Australian's use of screw caps, particularly for rieslings. Let's just say he's not a fan:

"But beyond my rant on whether or not all these “treatments” (rather an Orwellian use of the word) that the Aussies put their wines through are safe, there is little doubt that copper finings and the like do strip out much of the character of the wines, and are still completely ineffectual and simply put off the day when the wines go into permanent reduction under screwcap and are ruined. How do you make a screwcap-sealed wine taste and smell like rotting cabbage or burning rubber- put it in the cellar for a few years. They almost all get there over time".

The interview can be found at http://www.drvino.com/2009/01/05/screwcaps-scores-riesling-the-loire-cali-cab-john-gilman-part-two/.

I don't read much of his reviews or writings, but tend to agree with his views on terrior, over-ripeness, globalization of wine, etc. But I don't know where he's coming from on the screwcap issue, or why he identifies it as an Australian issue (why not NZ?).

Any thoughts?
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Postby pstarr » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:42 pm

I suggest simply ignoring those comments about Australian riesling. He admits he has ignored the wines for ten years, but has no hesitation in dismissing all of them as being disposed to reduction because they are sealed under screwcap. I drink a lot of riesling, mainly from Australia, young and aged, mostly under screwcap, and can point to many examples of graceful aging. Australian semillon (one of the world's great wine styles for aging, IMHO) under screwcap tells a similar story.

Whether a wine is reduced, or has reductive potential, is a function of viticultural and winemaking practices (nitrogen availability, use of oxgen, ferment temperatures, etc) and not caused by choice of closure. Wines can be reduced, or become reductive, under cork, Zork, Diam, glass, whatever.

For me, the judicious use of copper in winemaking is a very common practice, not just in Australia and New Zealand, and is no kiss of death for quality wine (just like fining and filtration are not always bad choices).
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby David » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:14 pm

JDSJDS wrote:John Gilman is a wine writer in the U.S., kind of an 'anti-Parker' type who has long railed against high alcohol wines, over-ripeness, commercial yeasts, etc. He tends to champion small growers and terroir.

He was recently interviewed and talked about the Australian's use of screw caps, particularly for rieslings. Let's just say he's not a fan:

"But beyond my rant on whether or not all these “treatments” (rather an Orwellian use of the word) that the Aussies put their wines through are safe, there is little doubt that copper finings and the like do strip out much of the character of the wines, and are still completely ineffectual and simply put off the day when the wines go into permanent reduction under screwcap and are ruined. How do you make a screwcap-sealed wine taste and smell like rotting cabbage or burning rubber- put it in the cellar for a few years. They almost all get there over time".

The interview can be found at http://www.drvino.com/2009/01/05/screwcaps-scores-riesling-the-loire-cali-cab-john-gilman-part-two/.

I don't read much of his reviews or writings, but tend to agree with his views on terrior, over-ripeness, globalization of wine, etc. But I don't know where he's coming from on the screwcap issue, or why he identifies it as an Australian issue (why not NZ?).

Any thoughts?


What utter rubbish. If any wine has benifited from screwcap it is riesling. And aged riesling.

I think this septic has had his nose in the septic for too long.
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Postby Gary W » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:52 pm

Man is a twerp. A strong viewpoint formed from no base of experience. End of story.
GW

PS. It's Aussie unless referring to a local ostrich or an Osborne :)
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Postby KMP » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:04 am

Long article - exhausting and mind numbing to read. You have to wonder if the guy has read any of the research that has been done on screw caps. His not having "paid any atttention" to Aussie riesling in 10 years is one thing but the best bit is his comments on the Penfolds 2007 Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling.

"Their 2007 Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling was a perfect example of just how insidious screwcaps are for wine- this wine received 90 points from Josh Raynolds in his International Wine Cellar review in the September-October ’08 issue, and Josh has a great palate. By the time we tasted the wine at the end of October it was already obviously suffering from sulphate reduction- it was overtly mineral and borderline metallic on the palate, and about as short on the finish as a wine could be- classic reduction symptoms. About as classic an example of a 75 point wine as I have come across in some time. Now most wine drinkers would not recognize the symptoms of sulphate reduction in the wine- this was a journalist-only event and I did not hear many comments about the reduced aspects of the wine when it was served- and most would just assume that Penfolds cannot make riesling worth a damn."

Let's just emphasize that again "I did not hear many comments about the reduced aspects of the wine when it was served". Hmm, wonder if this guy knows what reduction is or whether he's just too sensitive to it. Hard to tell. Either way its just another individual opinion that has no bearing on how anyone else would assess the wine.

And he has to get in that "Now most wine drinkers would not recognize the symptoms of sulphate reduction in the wine". In other words I know what I'm talking about but the rest of you don't. Of course its equally possible that its the other way around.

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Postby JamieH » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:05 am

Wow, according to John Gilman, Jeffrey Grosset, Ernst Loosen, the Hill-Smith family and countless other wine producers, big and small, red and white, must be wrong! He is entilted to his opinon of course, but he could at least make the effort to try some older rieslings rather than base his comments on one wine. there is another comments thread on a Decanter news alert about screwcaps which he makes similar statements.

Ps ditto mikes comments, I would question my nose if a whole room of winos didn't think there was a problem.

cheers

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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby ufo » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:34 am

David wrote:
JDSJDS wrote:John Gilman is a wine writer in the U.S., kind of an 'anti-Parker' type who has long railed against high alcohol wines, over-ripeness, commercial yeasts, etc. He tends to champion small growers and terroir.

He was recently interviewed and talked about the Australian's use of screw caps, particularly for rieslings. Let's just say he's not a fan:

"But beyond my rant on whether or not all these “treatments” (rather an Orwellian use of the word) that the Aussies put their wines through are safe, there is little doubt that copper finings and the like do strip out much of the character of the wines, and are still completely ineffectual and simply put off the day when the wines go into permanent reduction under screwcap and are ruined. How do you make a screwcap-sealed wine taste and smell like rotting cabbage or burning rubber- put it in the cellar for a few years. They almost all get there over time".

The interview can be found at http://www.drvino.com/2009/01/05/screwcaps-scores-riesling-the-loire-cali-cab-john-gilman-part-two/.

I don't read much of his reviews or writings, but tend to agree with his views on terrior, over-ripeness, globalization of wine, etc. But I don't know where he's coming from on the screwcap issue, or why he identifies it as an Australian issue (why not NZ?).

Any thoughts?


What utter rubbish. If any wine has benifited from screwcap it is riesling. And aged riesling.

I think this septic has had his nose in the septic for too long.


100 % agreed.
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Postby TORB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:53 pm

This guy could be nominate as Wine's One Handed Typist of The Year.

A classic example of not letting the facts get in the way of an opinion.
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Postby Mahmoud Ali » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:51 pm

An interesting read all the way through. I think its fun to hear different opinions and as wine enthusiasts we can pretty well fend for ourselves. I've heard many of these sentiments before in one form or another.

I must admit to having no experience with older rieslings under screw-caps. Nor any other old wine under screw-cap for that matter. One thing I can say though is that I've rarely encountered a corked German Riesling, and the old bottles were always a delight.

And what is this "copper sulphate" business? Never heard of this before.

Cheers................Mahmoud
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby SueNZ » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:21 pm

JDSJDS wrote: ... But I don't know where he's coming from on the screwcap issue, or why he identifies it as an Australian issue (why not NZ?).

Any thoughts?


He probably doesn't know NZ exists - or like others from the big place he may just think NZ is just another state of Orztralia.
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby DaveB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:12 pm

SueNZ wrote:
JDSJDS wrote: ... But I don't know where he's coming from on the screwcap issue, or why he identifies it as an Australian issue (why not NZ?).

Any thoughts?


He probably doesn't know NZ exists - or like others from the big place he may just think NZ is just another state of Orztralia.


He knows NZ exists....he interviewed Paul White in the May issue of his newsletter so thats where is current stance on screwcaps comes from. He is a big advocate of minimal intervention winemaking too so he aint going to be too keen on out 'techo' reislings.

I really like his writing....one of the better writers on Germany and the Loire....Burgundy too......nice bloke....I've swapped a few emails with him.
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Postby Blue » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:28 pm

He has a lot of respect for Australian Riesling. I have to agree with him, potential and the quality of Australian Riesling is very high. I am a big fan of Australian riesling and have a lot of respect for it. No doubt they will age very well, especially the good ones.

Science aside, i just dont like the idea of cellaring screwcapped great australian riesling for the next 20 years. Maybe i will change my perception one day, but for now i just cant spend more than $100 for a bottle of wine or any wine that can age for more than 15 years sealed with screwcap. Just cant picture myself twisting and opening screwcapped bottles of my properly cellared wines in 2020, i'd rather pop the bottles. Romance or maybe even stupidity :wink:
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Postby Waiters Friend » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:38 pm

[quote="Blue"] Science aside, i just dont like the idea of cellaring screwcapped great australian riesling for the next 20 years. Maybe i will change my perception one day, but for now i just cant spend more than $100 for a bottle of wine or any wine that can age for more than 15 years sealed with screwcap. quote]

G'day Blue

Firstly, you will be delighted to know that good Aussie riesling that might make 15-20 years of age is a lot cheaper than $100 a bottle. $20-$40 will see you well and truly right. A $50 Chardonnay won't go the distance.

Secondly (and Blue, this relates to the thread as a whole, not to your comments personally), no-one has mentioned the screw cap trials undertaken by Yalumba / Pewsey Vale et al in the 1970s, which partially contributed to the prevalence of screw caps today. There have been some stunning wines go the distance from those years, and I doubt they would have got there if under cork.

This thread applies to riesling, of course. The jury is still out on the optimum closure for Blue's $100 wines - but the verdict is well and truly in for riesling and other unwooded whites.

Cheers

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Postby SueNZ » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:55 am

Waiters Friend wrote:Secondly (and Blue, this relates to the thread as a whole, not to your comments personally), no-one has mentioned the screw cap trials undertaken by Yalumba / Pewsey Vale et al in the 1970s, which partially contributed to the prevalence of screw caps today. There have been some stunning wines go the distance from those years, and I doubt they would have got there if under cork.

This thread applies to riesling, of course. The jury is still out on the optimum closure for Blue's $100 wines - but the verdict is well and truly in for riesling and other unwooded whites.

Cheers

Allan

Actually, Allan, at the screwcap launch in Marlborough back whenever, a very acceptable Nobilo 1983 Muller Thurgau under screwcap was opened. I also remember going to a party about 3-4 years ago when someone brought along a screwcapped bottle of a popular Muller Thurgau of the early 1980's which had the proprietary name "Cresta Doré". It was tasteless swill on release but had actually garnered some richness and honeyed complexities with over 20 years in the screwcap bottle.
Cheers,
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Postby Blue » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:39 pm

Waiters Friend wrote:
Blue wrote: Science aside, i just dont like the idea of cellaring screwcapped great australian riesling for the next 20 years. Maybe i will change my perception one day, but for now i just cant spend more than $100 for a bottle of wine or any wine that can age for more than 15 years sealed with screwcap. quote]

G'day Blue

Firstly, you will be delighted to know that good Aussie riesling that might make 15-20 years of age is a lot cheaper than $100 a bottle. $20-$40 will see you well and truly right. A $50 Chardonnay won't go the distance.

Secondly (and Blue, this relates to the thread as a whole, not to your comments personally), no-one has mentioned the screw cap trials undertaken by Yalumba / Pewsey Vale et al in the 1970s, which partially contributed to the prevalence of screw caps today. There have been some stunning wines go the distance from those years, and I doubt they would have got there if under cork.

This thread applies to riesling, of course. The jury is still out on the optimum closure for Blue's $100 wines - but the verdict is well and truly in for riesling and other unwooded whites.

Cheers

Allan


$100 for a bottle of wine or any wine that can age for more than 15 years

doesnt matter $20 or even $10 :)
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Postby Blue » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:43 pm

Waiters Friend wrote:
Blue wrote: no-one has mentioned the screw cap trials undertaken by Yalumba / Pewsey Vale et al in the 1970s, which partially contributed to the prevalence of screw caps today. There have been some stunning wines go the distance from those years, and I doubt they would have got there if under cork.

Cheers

Allan


Love Pewsey Vale rieslings, sell and drank lots of them myself at our restaurants. :P
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby pstarr » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:32 am

More stuff from John Gilman on screwcap wines and their preparation, including the use of copper and possible cyanide isses. The full thread on Wine Beserkers can be found at: http://wineberserkers.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9052

While I am happy to buy screwcapped wines for cellaring, I wouldn't mind knowing more about the copper issues he raises. I am not familiar with Paul White's comments.

"Hi Mitch,

I have read quite a bit of what Paul White has written on the issue and he was very instrumental in pointing me in the direction of the research that has been done by the Australian Wine Research Institute and others on issues of reduction and oxidation. I conducted an interview with Dr. White in one of the recent issues of my newsletter, which made for some pretty fascinating reading, and I would be happy to share it with anyone who might be interested in his research (just email me at jbgilman@ix.netcom.com). He has taken a lot of heat in some circles for his willingness to tackle this issue by questioning research and cross checking it with other scientists and the accepted literature in the field of chemistry, and from what I have seen, he has been spot on with all of his critiques.

So I am very aware of the standard operating procedure of adding copper sulphate to wines pre-bottling that has been in affect for several years now in Australia and New Zealand for wines that are destined to be bottled under screwcap. I am uncertain of how these now routine additions of copper sulphate to a wine affect their safety for human consumption (as residual copper is left behind in the wine), as there are no longer any regulations in Australia and New Zealand with respect to setting maximum levels of residual copper, given that the Australian Food Standards Code was changed a few years back abolishing any such maximum level for wine. Previously, the regulations in Australia and New Zealand (both countries operate under the same set of rules for wine) had prohibited residual copper concentrations in excess of 5.0 mg. per liter, which was the same as the maximum level currently allowed in the United States. But within the last few years the governments Down Under have scrapped this maximum level of residual copper in wine- "why" being a very good question to which I have not seen any answer.

The questionable aspect here to my mind is that residual copper cannot be tasted or noticed in a wine unless the level is sufficiently high enough to form a haze by the residual copper's reaction with proteins that might still be in the wine after filtering. Without the "copper haze" formation, there is no way to tell how much residual copper one is consuming when drinking a wine from Australia or New Zealand that has been copper fined, as testing is no longer done for these wines with the abolition of the maximum level for safe human consumption by the good folks responsible for the Australian Food Standards Code. And thanks to GATT, wines produced in one country under regulations that make them safe for their domestic markets are not subject to regulations in the countries that import them, so our FDA maximum limits of 5 mg. per liter of residual copper are not applicable in regards to copper-fined wines from Australasia and are of no use in protecting consumers, just in case there happens to be wines on the market here that are above what is currently deemed safe for human consumption.

In affect, the changes of the Australian Food Standards Code for maximum levels of copper in wine effectively usurped the FDA's ability to police the US market for wines with potentially hazardous levles of residual copper from Australia and New Zealand, assuming of course that the FDA had any interest in doing so. I had contacted a very nice gentleman at the FDA to ask him about this issue, and he was going to look into it and get right back to me. That was six months ago and I have still not heard from him. But to give one some idea of how potentially wide spread the issue is in Australasia today, the Australian Wine Institute published a paper in April of 2008 written by oenologist Geoff Cowey about the issue, entitled "Excessive copper fining of wines sealed under screwcaps- identifying and treating reductive winemaking characters," which was published in The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker. It makes for some pretty interesting reading, to say the least. I highly recommend reading the paper before opening up the next bottle of Australian or New Zealand wine sealed under screwcap.

The bottom line is that today one does not have to be wary of only of residual copper above safe levels for human consupmption, as in addition, one of the methods now often used to try and remove excess copper prior to bottling is what is called a "Blue Fining", where the wine is fined with potassium ferrocyanide. To quote Mr. Cowey: "However, in most cases (of greater than desired concentrations of copper in the wine), fining with potassium ferrocyanide (PFC), an operation referred to as "blue fining", is required to decrease the concentraton of copper to below the recommended "safe level". (I should note that Mr. Cowey's recommended "safe level" is the 5 mg. per liter that was formally the limit of the Australian Food Standards Code.) The goal of the paper is to give winemakers a firm blueprint for treating wines for potential reduction prior to bottling, so as to minimize the likelihood of excess copper in the wines and the need for blue fining, as Mr. Cowey continues, "over-fining and the retention of excess ferrocyanide in the wine" is not desirable, for "excess ferrocyanide, might, in time, liberate cyanide, thus rendering the wine unsaleable and possibly toxic." Yum.

The bizarre thing is that all of this is done to allow wines sealed under screwcaps to prolong the period of fine drinking before they become liable to permanent reduction- all of the literature that I have read indicates that all of this addition of copper sulphate prior to bottling only pushes further out the onset of reduction in a wine sealed under an anaerobic seal such as screwcaps currently provide- it most emphatically does not prevent it. So the addition of all this heavy metal is to simply give a wider window for the wine to be consumed prior to the onset of reduction- if the wine is sealed under a screwcap. If the wine is sealed under a cork, then none of this- copper sulphate additions, fining with ferrocyanide- are necessary. Additionally, copper fining does not only target the sulfur molecules that are prone to reduction and the formation of thiols in an anaerobic environment, it targets all sulfur compounds in the wine- many of which are resonsible for the aromatic and flavor complexity that makes wine such a compelling beverage in the first place. The literature that I have seen on this issue is very persuasive. So in the end we add all this copper (or strip it out at the risk of adding cyanide), so that we can make the wine less complex from the start, and only push back the day of reckoning with permanent reduction, all so that we can use a specific type of closure! The whole thing is asinine in my opinion.

I should note that the screwcap industry is feverishly working to create better seals that allow a certain degree of oxygen ingress (trying to emulate natural cork's performance in this respect), so that in the future all of this copper fining may no longer be necessary. I would be very curious to hear what winemakers here in the US or Europe are doing to address the potential impact of permanent reduction in wines sealed under screwcaps, as of course they are subject to the limitations on residual copper in wines as set out by the appropriate regulatory agencies in their home countries. But in the interim, I am a bit hesitant to not spit out that screwcapped wine from Australasia from the current vintage that I might be sampling, and needless to say, there are none of those potentially heavy metal wines in my cellar. I would love to see some research done on the safe levels of residual copper in wine for those of us that taste and spit the wines :-)

Best,

John"
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Re:

Postby DJ » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:58 pm

Blue wrote:He has a lot of respect for Australian Riesling. I have to agree with him, potential and the quality of Australian Riesling is very high. I am a big fan of Australian riesling and have a lot of respect for it. No doubt they will age very well, especially the good ones.

Science aside, i just dont like the idea of cellaring screwcapped great australian riesling for the next 20 years. Maybe i will change my perception one day, but for now i just cant spend more than $100 for a bottle of wine or any wine that can age for more than 15 years sealed with screwcap. Just cant picture myself twisting and opening screwcapped bottles of my properly cellared wines in 2020, i'd rather pop the bottles. Romance or maybe even stupidity :wink:


Try and get your hands on some 1998 Richmond Grove Riesling (either the Watervale or the Barossa) in screwcap. They are both bloody delicious. The worst thing is keeping my hands off them as I only started with six of each - the Barossas have gone I think. The Watervales will keep going for ages but have started to develope very well.

Another screwcap Riesling from the last month or so I really really wish I had more of is the 2002 Orlando St Helga - I wish I had 10 cases so I could drink 6 a year for the next 20 years.

You will only need a few more awful corks and perfect screwcaps before you see the light. :D
David J

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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby JDSJDS » Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:54 pm

John Gilman's concern over the (over)use of copper in screwcapped wines is very interesting. It is particularly interesting that the governments of both NZ and Australia seemed to change policy to allow higher levels of copper sulphate (if his statement is true).

Has anybody else heard any such concerns in either country? Is he a lone voice in the wilderness?
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby ufo » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:21 pm

David wrote:
JDSJDS wrote:John Gilman is a wine writer in the U.S., kind of an 'anti-Parker' type who has long railed against high alcohol wines, over-ripeness, commercial yeasts, etc. He tends to champion small growers and terroir.

He was recently interviewed and talked about the Australian's use of screw caps, particularly for rieslings. Let's just say he's not a fan:

"But beyond my rant on whether or not all these “treatments” (rather an Orwellian use of the word) that the Aussies put their wines through are safe, there is little doubt that copper finings and the like do strip out much of the character of the wines, and are still completely ineffectual and simply put off the day when the wines go into permanent reduction under screwcap and are ruined. How do you make a screwcap-sealed wine taste and smell like rotting cabbage or burning rubber- put it in the cellar for a few years. They almost all get there over time".

The interview can be found at http://www.drvino.com/2009/01/05/screwcaps-scores-riesling-the-loire-cali-cab-john-gilman-part-two/.

I don't read much of his reviews or writings, but tend to agree with his views on terrior, over-ripeness, globalization of wine, etc. But I don't know where he's coming from on the screwcap issue, or why he identifies it as an Australian issue (why not NZ?).

Any thoughts?


What utter rubbish. If any wine has benifited from screwcap it is riesling. And aged riesling.

I think this septic has had his nose in the septic for too long.



100 % agreed.
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby ufo » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:27 pm

I got 2002 Marius Shiraz under Screw Cap and they are aging so gracefully without any reduction, in fact without any hint of any problem or fault. In fact the wine is so vibrant and full of flavors as if it was bottled on a year ago not 7 years and it looks like it still needs time to reach its peak. May be I should send this guy a bottle and ask him to try it. But I think nothing will change his strongly fixed mind.
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby Gary W » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:46 pm

I hear they have nearly finished work on the new screwcap project...so that it randomly oxidises wine..and for good luck releases a little TCA into around 5% of the bottles. It's difficult but they have nearly got it to the stage where it matches the superior performance of natural cork. Must be all that copper (or is that brass) making them 'very instrumental' in improving the closure.
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Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby GraemeG » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:53 am

That extensive quote from JG reads rather like the "we-never-landed-on-the-moon, 9-11-was-a-set-up" websites you can find around the place.

Let's see if I've got it right. Winemakers in Oz & NZ rush lemming-like for the screwcap for reasons that aren't explained. Their wines all start turning reductive. They react by chucking masses of copper sulphate into the wines to delay the onset of reduction. But, first, because copper sulphate is toxic, they have to get Australian regulations changed to allow them to do it. Everyone quietly co-operates to allow this to happen. And, even better "Without the "copper haze" formation, there is no way to tell how much residual copper one is consuming when drinking a wine from Australia or New Zealand that has been copper fined, as testing is no longer done for these wines with the abolition of the maximum level for safe human consumption by the good folks responsible for the Australian Food Standards Code." The sneaky devils! If only Mr Gilman had 50 bottles of Oz/NZ screwcapped wine tested in a lab, and proved these toxic levels, he'd get Decanter's Man of the Year, not to mention othe awards for services to Public Health. But, strangely, he hasn't.
Anyway, these reckless winemakers, who've presumably stopped drinking their own wines by now, then attempt to strip out the copper by using an agent that could turn into cyanide.
Paraphrasing: "Although I have not a shred of evidence for this occurring in anything but the most isolated and extreme instances, I'm not putting any of these dangerous Oz/NZ wines in my cellar". Even the tinfoil hat won't protect you, eh? Scary stuff.

At least the Y2K doomsday folk had to shut up by December 2000. This screwcap beat-up could go on forever...

Graeme
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: John Gilman's Views on Ozzie Rieslings/Screw Caps

Postby pstarr » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:47 pm

GraemeG wrote:That extensive quote from JG reads rather like the "we-never-landed-on-the-moon, 9-11-was-a-set-up" websites you can find around the place.

Let's see if I've got it right. Winemakers in Oz & NZ rush lemming-like for the screwcap for reasons that aren't explained. Their wines all start turning reductive. They react by chucking masses of copper sulphate into the wines to delay the onset of reduction. But, first, because copper sulphate is toxic, they have to get Australian regulations changed to allow them to do it. Everyone quietly co-operates to allow this to happen. And, even better "Without the "copper haze" formation, there is no way to tell how much residual copper one is consuming when drinking a wine from Australia or New Zealand that has been copper fined, as testing is no longer done for these wines with the abolition of the maximum level for safe human consumption by the good folks responsible for the Australian Food Standards Code." The sneaky devils! If only Mr Gilman had 50 bottles of Oz/NZ screwcapped wine tested in a lab, and proved these toxic levels, he'd get Decanter's Man of the Year, not to mention othe awards for services to Public Health. But, strangely, he hasn't.
Anyway, these reckless winemakers, who've presumably stopped drinking their own wines by now, then attempt to strip out the copper by using an agent that could turn into cyanide.
"Although I have not a shred of evidence for this occurring in anything but the most isolated and extreme instances, I'm not putting any of these dangerous Oz/NZ wines in my cellar". Even the tinfoil hat won't protect you, eh? Scary stuff.

At least the Y2K doomsday folk had to shut up by December 2000. This screwcap beat-up could go on forever...

Graeme


I agree with most of that Graeme. The trouble I see is that Gilman is not alone in these sentiments and that this stuff does get peddled to audiences in Australian export markets without an effective counter, and that there are grains of truth scattered around in what he says.

AWRI's published work on Australian use of copper is written up at http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=get ... taId=58431 and you'll see there that there is some data (maybe not representative) on uptake of routine copper adds (even without the presence of reductive characters) and then the techniques for dealing with higher coppers (including cyanide use).

I'd love to see AWRI and the AWBC get on the front foot with clear and transperant presentation of this kind of data on an annual basis. If there's a problem, let's understand it, deal with, and demonstrate where we are at. The current situation allows people like Gilman to get on hobby horses and start a derby.
Paul.
pstarr
 
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