Thursday, October 31, 2013


I have a new 'tool'...which hopefully will only be full of plusses for little old me.
When I wrote on a forum that I was thinking of purchasing it...there were replies of...

'Don't you have friends to share a bottle?'
Regular readers of my blog will know I do...but some blog-noted wines you read about...end up in a goulash or something similar. My wife can't drink...and my friends have lives of their own. My daily intake is approximately a half-bottle...and while some wines will improve overnight...with maybe a place in the has never been a solution for me. Other 'helpers' never seemed to be the perfect answer.

And so it was...that I bought my 'new friend'.
Only available in the U.S.A....the postal costs were 'evil'...and the customs duty I had to pay in Germany mildly easier. is here with me...the CORAVIN.
This ingenious little device allows you to drink the wine without ever having to open the bottle. The Coravin drives a thin, hollow needle right through the cork in order to pump argon right into the wine (as opposed to oxygen). Argon is an inert gas, and won’t affect the taste of the wine one bit. It will, however, provide pressure for the wine to pour right through that hollow needle without ever allowing oxygen to come in contact with the spirit. When you’re done drinking, simply remove the needle, and the cork will expand to seal that hole you just created, leaving you free to place that bottle back in the cellar for as long as you’d like.

I started out with something simple...

Friday 25 October 2013
Gernot Heinrich Pannobile 2006
Burgenland, Austria

A Cuvee of Zweigelt und Blaufränkisch...gentle sweet cherry fruit...soft vanilla of oak...juicy and quite fresh for it's age..The tannins are soft...half the bottle was drank...the rest in a few days...
Points 16.25

Next day...

Saturday 26 October 2013
Stodden Neuenahrer Sonnenberg
Spätburgunder 2004
Ahr, Germany

I have never, as yet, become a full-blooded lover of Stodden wines...mainly due to the fact that the younger vintages needed ages to develope. I've heard that they are now more approachable in their youth.
This is the old school style...and has the Stodden markings...earthy...dry tannins...tobacco...wild cherries...
Another half-bottle tasted...and will leave it for a year or two.
Points 16.5

Getting adventurous...I chose two Knipser wines...vintage 2007...and tried them over a couple of days.

Sunday 27 October 2013
Knipser Kirschgarten Spätburgunder 2007
Pfalz, Germany

Still plenty of oak on the nose...a BIG currants....medium thick fruit...warm explosion on the back palate...needs a year or two
Points 17.25...with potential

Monday 28 October 2013
Knipser Großkarlbacher Burgweg 2007
Pfalz, Germany

More a fine Burgundy...very much the attractive sister at the moment.....fascinating aromas of black cherries and forest berries...tannins more integrated that the Kirschgarten....with a sweetish feel to them.
Points 17.5

How about a comparitive tasting of two 2010's?

Tuesday 29 October 2013
Martin Wassmer Castellberg
Pinot Noir 2010

Baden, Germany
Medium thick fruit...but full of I know the wine already I gave it some time in the glass to compensate what airing it would have received had it be opened and decanted. Still needs time...and the slightly robust tannins still need taming...the finish is long.
Points 17.5...which is slightly less than when I had a full bottle...with more airing

Tuesday 29 October 2013
Seeger Oberklamm Spätburgunder 2010
Baden, Germany

As the wine poured into the glass...there was a distinct vanilla smell...and compared to the Wassmer...this is cherries and strawberry fruit...cinnamon...easy tannins...
Points 17.75

Wednesday 30 October 2013
Of the 6 bottles tested...the three most approachable were again 'dropped' into a glass.
Gernot Heinrich Pannobile 2006....opened 5 days ago
Knipser Großkarlbacher Burgweg 2007
...opened 2 days ago
Seeger Oberklamm Spätburgunder 2010...opened the day before

No deterioration...same notes. It works...
My wife will get used to me taking my glass into the cellar to get refills in the future!


Edward said...


It's a good thing these are not yet available in Australia, I can see myself using it far too often. . . The restraint of not having someone to share with is perhaps the last and only protection my cellar has!

I've heard mixed things about this device. I think because the cork is not perfectly hermetic in the first place, there is a suggestion that the argon may escape in time. I'd be interested in longer term results - say many months after you have sampled a wine.

Barry said...

Hi Ed...
not available in Europe...hence the extra postal costs...up to looks great...fingers crossed...

Anonymous said...

It shouldn't matter really if the argon bleeds out a little bit. You don't need the bottle to stay pressurized, you just need a gas there to fill the vacuum. With argon being more dense than air, it's unlikely that through simple diffusion the atmosphere will easily pass through the cork and replace the argon.

Simon Jones said...

Hi Barry,
Leaving the virtues of argon aside, I read your write-up of the two Knipser Spätburgunders with interest - basically because I more or less came to the same conclusion as you. The Burgweg seems more accessible at the moment while the Kirschgarten is still quite "monolithic", for wont of a better word. For what it's worth, I currently have one bottle of the Burgweg left and might invest in another bottle of the Kirschgarten from a merchant who still stocks it here in Basel.