Dundee, Oregon <December, 2015> – Ryan Harris, President of Domaine Serene Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, has announced a zero-tolerance policy against TCA and other forms of cork taint for all Domaine Serene wines starting with release of the winery’s Provence-style 2014 “r” Rosé V.VIII (version VIII bottling) in February 2016. The Domaine Serene Guaranteed Closure assurance positions the elite Dundee Hills-based winery as first in the world to extend a comprehensive pledge of taint-free natural cork closures to consumers and trade customers. Domaine Serene will also continue to offer a 100% money-back guarantee on all corked bottles, with or without the DSGC emblem.
Yet another example of their unwavering quality commitment, winery founders Ken and Grace Evenstad envision the DSGC program as an outright refusal to tolerate cork-tainted wine under the Domaine Serene label going forward. Their confidence in offering this unprecedented certification of product integrity and purity is based on a cork-by-cork individual inspection that detects offaromas, including but not limited to TCA, and quarantines any flawed corks. Inevitable higher cost associated with these rigorous new testing protocols will not be passed along by the winery in the form of increased prices to consumers.
Most industry experts agree that about five per cent of all wines sealed with natural cork closures display a musty taint. These wines are typically characterized as “corked.” The underlying flaw in corked wine is caused by a number of potent organic compounds: metabolic products of fungi naturally present in cork, or which have grown in the cork at various processing stages. The most significant is 2,4,6- trichloroanisole, or TCA. Cork taint’s effect in wine is often described as an unpleasant, moldy cardboard or wet dog character. In its most extreme form cork taint makes a wine completely unpalatable; and even in its most benign expression, TCA cork taint significantly inhibits fruit character and shortens the finish of a wine, undermining both its hedonistic and its financial value to the owner.
Cork taint can occur in any wine using natural cork, regardless of price, style or quality level. This poses an especially acute problem for wines of elite quality. Created to evolve slowly in the bottle, these “collector’s wines” often do not reach peak drinkability until many years after release. High-quality natural corks allow close to 1 milligram of oxygen to enter the bottle each year, just the right amount of air to allow age-worthy wines to mature and develop complexity as their tannins gradually soften. Domaine Serene prides itself on crafting elegant, balanced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that reward extended bottle aging and are prized by knowledgeable collectors. Consequently, the Evenstads have always been committed to using natural cork closures for all their wines. This explains their aggressive position on preventing cork taint, which would otherwise put at risk as many as one in twenty bottles purchased.
The new Domaine Serene Guaranteed Closure policy guarantees and safeguards the investment and enjoyment of Domaine Serene consumers — both at the point of purchase and over many years of patient cellaring — by ensuring wine quality that is unsullied by TCA taint, regardless of where or when the cork is finally pulled.
ABOUT DOMAINE SERENE
A passion to produce exquisite Pinot Noir led Ken and Grace Evenstad to Oregon in 1989. When the time came to pursue their longtime dream of planting vineyards and founding a winery to produce Pinot Noir, they invested in a 42-acre hilltop estate property that had just been logged in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. Today, Domaine Serene produces wines from six vineyard estates, totaling over 700 acres with 240 planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Domaine Serene’s six distinct estates offer a diversity of soils, clones, rootstocks, microclimates, slopes and elevations that add distinguishing complexity and elegance to its wines. The winemaking team, led by Erik Kramer, insists on extremely low yields, which allow for the maximum expression of terroir in the complex and balanced fruit from the vineyard sites. All of Domaine Serene’s vineyards are dry-farmed and LIVE certified. Through the continuous pursuit of quality and innovation, Domaine Serene has garnered global recognition as an iconic quality leader of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.