Cork Update (August 7, 2003)
A three-year study conducted by Embag, a Beaune-based company in Burgundy,
has concluded that corks of all types are equally at risk from the contamination
that leads to the phenomenon of "corked" (tainted) wines.
The company analyzes corks for the presence of TCA (trichloroanisole)
the compound responsible for producing off flavours in wines
and rejects those with over 4 nanograms per litre of TCA.
They found that they were rejecting roughly the same number of corks
in all sizes and qualities. Last year they rejected some 7 per cent (over
1 million units tested).
This figure is in line with those of the Bureau Interprofessionnel des
Vins de Bourgogne's quality monitoring service, which reports contamination
at between 5% and 6%.