From the Cellar

Elderton Tantalus : Cork vs Screwcap

18 Oct 2023

This is another of my "found reviews", and is an interesting comparison between cork vs screwcap ... let's get to it:

(July 16, 2021) ... On a random Friday in July I had a wine-loving friend over (is there any other kind) and we decided to give this experiment a try - here is what we found out:

Tantalus cork v screwcap2002 ... This one is sealed under cork, and the CellarTracker folks had given it a combined score of 80.5; not great, but heck it's a wine that says drink within 2-3 years - I suspect many people, like I did, waited too long - and so with too many years under its belt I decided to give it a try. This 70/30 Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon blend starts off herbal, floral, maybe even some fauna. On the palate, it is port-like with herbs and smoke. The fruit, whatever is there any way, is dried out with hints of blackberry on the finish - surprisingly drinkable when first opened, with licorice and spice beginning to show signs of life ... but then about 30 minutes in it falls off the table with almost no finish, grit and sediment are everywhere and that is pretty much all you can taste  ... this wine has nothing left to give.

2003 ... This one is sealed under screwcap, I am assuming the same blend numbers apply, and it still says 2-3 years drinking window on the back. The CellarTrack folks have given this one an 88. This one starts out all fruit, sweet and succulent with notes of blackberry and cherry kicking it off and giving it charm, while the acidity seems to punch at the tongue. Lots more dark fruit emerges then adds in roasted coffee beans and mocha - this is a deliciously aged Australia red, with a long finish. Even as it opens it remains lovely and drinkable for a couple of hours anyway - or until the bottle was gone.

For those who doubt the viability of screwcap this really speaks volumes.


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