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Screw-capped wine scores 100 points from wine guru Robert M. Parker Jr.

1 Sep

It’s not everyday that a wine receives 100 points from Robert M. Parker Jr., the most influential wine reviewer ever on the planet. And it wasn’t until last October that a screw-capped wine joined that illustrious list.

The wine, Odette Estate’s 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap AVA  in the Napa Valley, will be released today. In the October issue of The Wine Advocate, Parker called the vintage “absolutely magnificent.” He described the wine as being “off-the-charts,” mind-blowing” and “glorious,” with a “stunning nose,… a full-bodied skyscraper-like textural extravaganza [and] luxurious ripeness…. Everything is beautifully married in one harmonious, glorious wine.”

Such glory doesn’t come cheap. The screw-capped wine, sold along with a conventionally cork-closed bottle, will set you back $600. And it won’t be easy to get. The 2012 Odette Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is being made available by invitation to Odette’s winery membership in September. If you’re not yet a member, to add your name to the wait list, you’ll have to call or email PlumpJack (see odetteestate.com). On the other hand, you might want to splurge on the readily available 2012 Odette Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which is also delicious–and got a score of 96–at a third of the price.

For Odette is part of the PlumpJack Group, which for 15 years has been a leader in the use of alternative closures for luxury wines. In 2000 PlumpJack daringly released some of its finest 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon under screw caps. It sold the $135 wine with a conventional cork-closed bottle (priced at $125) so that buyers could compare the two. While the “sales people were petrified,” John Conover, general manager of the PlumpJack group, has said, consumers accepted the easy-to-open bottles. Fifteen years later, they line up for them.

NOTE: I’m a big believer in screw caps. I think they make eminent sense for most wines and wish many more producers would opt for them. I admire and commend the PlumpJack group for using them and for taking a chance with them when others wouldn’t.

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