Not only in South Africa but worldwide, a bottle closed with a natural cork stands for a true premium wine. A good cork seals the bottle and protects the wine against bad influences. For many wine lovers, the great advantage is the material; the natural substance seals tightly yet lets tiny amounts of oxygen come through, too. Due to the slightly higher oxygen contact, the wine can potentially keep on maturing in the bottle which leads to very special aromas; connoisseurs appreciate this effect of cork especially for red wine.
However, a wine matures further in the bottle without additional oxygen contact, too. As a matter of fact, there is no verified study that can link an especially good taste of a wine to additional oxygen contact. Furthermore, a cork closure also has disadvantages solely because of its material. If a bottle is stored standing, the cork can become brittle and not optimally close the bottle any longer. Penetrating extraneous smells can spoil the bouquet and taste. It can also happen that a cork develops 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, short TCA. This substance makes for what is generally called ‘cork taint’ which is an unpleasant taste in the wine.