12 Jun Blog
Our Iron Gate Estate wines are predominantly sealed with screw-caps to retain both freshness and control variability that can sometimes occur when using a cork finish. The wine-making doesn’t stop at bottling and the decision on which closure to use can impact greatly on the quality of the wine. While there has been much said and written in the cork Vs screw-cap debate, the fact is that wines will mature under both closures (albeit differently) and both closures have their advantages and disadvantages.
Here at Iron Gate Estate we want to preserve the freshness in our wines (especially the whites) and find that screw-caps are the best closure for that. Any problems with TCA (the compound that causes the “corked” character in wine) has been largely eliminated by cork suppliers but there is still the very slight risk of random oxidation from using anything but the highest quality cork.
We do, however, use these high quality corks in our top of the range Fenix Cabernet Shiraz.
Why you ask?
The answer is in the style of wine that Fenix fits into. The wine has big fruit, big flavour and BIG tannin. These styles mature a little better under cork, as the oxygen transmission through the cork softens and subdues these tannins. In this case we have matured the wines under cork for a while until the wine is balanced and then the decision is made to wax the top and neck of the bottle to slow down the maturation process. In this way, we have some modicum of control over how the wine will age.
We are also aware of the tradition of using cork and the associated ceremony of uncorking the bottle (which we love) and provide this option for the cork purists.
This has been written from a purely personal (and slightly technical) point of view and I realise not all of you will agree with me after reading this. I can assure you, however, that we put a lot of love, time and dedication into bringing all of our wines to you in great condition and hope you enjoy them whatever the closure they are bottled under.
Winemaker, Iron Gate Estate.