Fewer instances of corked wines?

A recent blog my Harvey S. mentioned the statistic of roughly 1 out of 12 bottles using a traditional cork being skunked. That is a figure that has been cited for quite a while. Earlier into this hobby for me, I might have said that I experienced a similar percentage of corked wines. However, over the last couple years I have to say I've been really lucky. I'm pretty sure that I probably have been experiencing this in 1 out of 30 bottles, maybe less. Again, I'm thinking wines using actual cork. Has anyone else seen a downward trend, or am I just really lucky and about to be pimp-slapped by Bacchus?
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by thelostverse:
Had a corked 2000 Rosenblum Cellars Petite Sirah Pickett Road Vineyard just last night. And I had a corked 2000 Château Poujeaux in December. That's two in two months for me - both 2000 vintages. Must have been a bad year for cork. Big Grin


Knowing your distaste for Bordeaux, maybe the Poujeaux wasn't actually corked... Smile
quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
quote:
Originally posted by thelostverse:
Had a corked 2000 Rosenblum Cellars Petite Sirah Pickett Road Vineyard just last night. And I had a corked 2000 Château Poujeaux in December. That's two in two months for me - both 2000 vintages. Must have been a bad year for cork. Big Grin


Knowing your distaste for Bordeaux, maybe the Poujeaux wasn't actually corked... Smile


My distaste for wasting money is greater than my distaste for Bordeaux. Big Grin Besides, I opened a 2000 Château Malescasse to replace it and I loved it.
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
James Laube reports that the incidence of corked wines in our Napa office tasting is the lowest since 2005.

http://www.winespectator.com/blogs/show/id/47837


Not to doubt mr. laube, but hearsay and anecdotal evidence is certainly not proof of a lower incident of corkage.

Considering past postings from mr. laube sticking to his guns and going as far as taking it to the lab to validate his super sensitivity to tca, perhaps a suggestion would be that he take his current tastings to the lab and test for tca to validate his claims?

I certainly would be curious if there is an improvement in cork quality as the technology certainly hasn't changed much in the past 3-5 years.
quote:
Originally posted by vinoman7:
No personal stats on the number of skunked wines. However, I'd be interested to hear how many people return these wines vs. how many people dump them down the drain and say oh well.


Depends on the cost of the wine and how it was sourced. If I have a relatively cheap wine that is corked, it often gets dumped down the drain because it is not worth the hassle (unless I know I am returning to the source in a short period). Also, retailers have different policies on what they will and won't take back.

At the risk of putting the bad mouth on it, I have had a pretty good stretch of non-corked wines. This includes Spanish and Italian wines that seem to count for the highest percentage (in my personal experience) of corked wines.
My experience says that there are fewer problems with corked wines. If you mostly drink wines bottled prior to the early 2000's, you probably won't notice a difference, but I think that most of the major producers who were originally in denial about cork taint have now taken action, and are more selective about the source and condition of their corks. I'm not an insider, but it is just an educated guess based on what I have observed over the last 15 years.
anecdotally, i might be opening slightly fewer corked bottles in the past year or so. but the incidence of cooked bottles has skyrocketed for me (and these are coming from various shops and have not all been shipped during the height of summer). frustrating as hell, especially the recent night we opened back-to-back cooked bottles, leaving us with no juice to drink along with dinner! Mad
Redhawk has it right....
Older vintages, yes, much more at risk. However, over the past decade, there have been many strides taken, not only in procuring better sources, but also in the sanitation on site...and don't forget, TCA can also come, and many times does come as much, if not more so, from the barrel. I am opening bottles all the time, as part of my profession, and, when it comes to wines released over the past decade, the rate is lower than 1 in 12...much lower. I will say however, that certain producers...mostly old world...seem to still struggle with this, for whatever reason. I will sometimes notice a string of corked wines coming from the same wineries.
Do any of you see a difference in corked wine instances between New world and old world bottles? I probably drink 65% new world (big majority US) but i think that the corked wines are equally distributed which means i am getting a higher incidence in old world wines.
Of the 1000 or so wines I tasted last year, I felt that a little less than 2% were corked.

Of course, a goodly percentage of the 1000 wines used screw cap or plastic stoppers. So, of those using true cork stoppers, I would put it at 2.5% to 3%.

This is less than I recall from a decade ago, when I had multiple incidents of opening one, then another, bottle -- only to find both corked.
Yes these stats will never be really accurate due to the fact that many wines go down the drain. The scary thing is how many people drink the corked bottles and like them due to their lack of any formal tasting process. Slamming wines doesn't allow one to identify corked bottles. Also how many industry folk pour corked wines at shows/events alone to realize it later when a wine geek tells them it is corked. Roll Eyes

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