Australian sparkling wine producer Chandon has released the first ever high-profile bottle of sparkling wine under a crown seal.
Chandon’s Green Point Z*D (known as Vintage Blanc de Blancs 2000 in Australia) was unveiled earlier this year in Melbourne and Syndey.
The ‘elegant’ – according to a Chandon press release – stainless steel crown is being used to stop the occurrence of cork taint. Although the sparkling wine will not be released in the UK, the crown seal closure is generating a lot of press in Australia.
‘The rationale for makers is that these styles are made for ageing and crown seals are better for cellaring than cork – quite apart from the avoidance of cork taint,’ said Decanter contributor Huon Hooke in the Syndey Morning Herald.
However, Chandon Z*D (standing for Zero Dosage or Brut de Brut) might never have been bottled under a crown seal. Winemaker Tony Jordan did not tell Moët & Chandon head office that he was planning to release the wine under this form of closure.
‘We know they [Moët & Chandon head office in France] are very conservative when it comes to things like this and we didn’t want them to stop us,’ Jordan told Max Allen for The Weekend Australian.
Although Chandon is not the first sparkling wine producer to bottle its wines with a so-called ‘beer-bottle top’, it is the first company of such calibre to use this type of closure for the finished wine. All champagne houses use crown seals during the winemaking process.
Aesthetically, though, the crown seal has yet to be accepted. ‘It’s less romantic,’ said Allen.
Written by Oliver Styles