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Murray Almond's "From the Left Island"

The Stelvin Dent Test
© Murray Almond
8 July 2001

Stelvin cap One of the few criticisms that has been levelled at the Stelvin Seal was the robustness of the cap; that a knock leaving a dent in the cap would be sufficient break the seal and therefore allow air in to oxidise the wine, or allow leakage.

This is yet another bit of spin put out by Stelvin Haters in defence of Oxidised and TCA Tainted Wines.

One (1) 2000 Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling from the Clare Valley in South Australia.
One (1) Stainless Steel Cheese knife, 10 inches total length, approx 200 g weight.

Both items were expendable as the wine was nicely chilled, just right for a hot day, and the cheese knife was a gift from my wife's mother.

1. Don safety equipment.
2. Stand Bottle Upright and hold in left hand.
3. Take cheese knife in right hand.
4. Strike the top edge corner of the Stelvin Cap smartly with the handle component of the cheese knife.
5. Invert bottle and test for leaks.
6. Loosen cap slightly, without breaking neck seal, and check for leaks.
7. Remove cap, check status of inside of seal.
8. Apreciate colour, nose, and taste.
9. Slake thirst.

1. The presence of a sizeable dent in the cap does not break the seal of the wine.

2. The wine has a pale straw colour, lively lemon/lime nose, balanced acidity and a great long aftertaste. The fruit carries nicely with sufficient acid for enjoyable drinking now, chilled on a very hot day, or happily cellar for up to a decade.

3. Striking a Stelvin Cap with the handle of a cheese knife one has been given by one''s mother in law has no impact on the structure of the cheese knife, however emotionally satisfying the experience may be.

1. These tests do not prove that the Stelvin dent theory is yet another bit of spin put out by Stelvin Haters in defence of Oxidised and TCA Tainted Wines per se.

2. The Tests do prove that in 100% of trials conducted by this laboratory that the Stelvin Cap can be subjected to dents without breaking the seal. As such to those Stelvin Haters my conclusion is that I hold my sides and laugh, "Ha Ha Ha", that such theories may be put forward.

3. The 2000 Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling is great value at AUD$12 for short term drinking or long term cellaring. New Zealanders can substitute the similar tasting 2000 Richmond Grove Barossa Riesling (about $14.95) to conduct their own tests.


© Murray Almond
8 July 2001

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