Wine cork

I opened a bottle of Chateau Clerc Milon 2004 on Tuesday, to accompany the rib-eye steak we had for dinner. Now back in 2007, we made a trip to Bordeaux for our summer holiday. We drove to Dover, took the ferry bound for Calais, drove to Paris and spent a night there, before driving down to Bordeaux where we spent a further 3 nights.

During this trip, we bought a few bottles of wine to store for a later date. This wine was bought during that trip on 26th August 2007 for £17.79 and I had kept it in my wine fridge until now, waiting for the right opportunity to open and share with my wife. BTW, the current price for this wine is £58.00 on BBR (more than 3x what I had paid for it).

Chateau Clerc Milon is a 5th growth in the 1855 classification, from the Pauillac region in Bordeaux and belongs in the wine stable of Mouton Rothschild. This wine was given a score of 90 by Robert Parker in 2007, which is a fairly impressive score.

Looking at the cork, it did look in excellent condition with just a rim of wine stain at the end where it was in contact with the wine. Hence I thought it would be interesting to see what the cork looked like in UV and fluorescence.

First the visible light images. You can see the foil end of the cork has dried somewhat (likely during its time on the shelves at Carrefour), but the cork end remains nice and plump, suggesting it has not dried as much:

Clerc Milon cork
Clerc Milon cork
Cork which is in excellent condition
Cork which is in excellent condition
Foil end of cork
Foil end of cork
Inside end of cork with wine stain
Inside end of cork with wine stain

The UV images:

Clerc Milon cork - UV
Clerc Milon cork – UV
UV
UV
Wine end of cork - the 2004 is not visible in UV
Wine end of cork – the 2004 is not visible in UV
Foil end of cork - UV
Foil end of cork – UV

Now the UV-induced visible fluorescence images:

Clerc Milon cork - UVIVF
Clerc Milon cork – UVIVF
Wine end of cork - UVIVF
Wine end of cork – UVIVF
Foil end of cork - UVIVF
Foil end of cork – UVIVF

It does look that the wine stain changes the UV-reflectance of the cork and hence has a different colour altogether. The UVIVF images do not look very interesting, although the next thing for me to look at is the cork structure at close magnification.

BTW, such good wine from France can no longer be had for such a good price. But it was certainly worth waiting 7 years to drink. The smell of chocolate, cedar, plums and dark cherry. Certainly a class wine – which my wife was able to appreciate on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Boon