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Published:  23 July, 2008

Supreme Corq Ltd has announced the establishment of a programme to recycle synthetic closures, to run in conjunction with Oddbins. The multiple specialist off-licence chain, now part of Nicolas, is also believed to be about to offer its customers the chance to return their traditional corks for recycling. Collection boxes will be put in the 226 Oddbins branches and the closures will be consolidated at the chain's distribution centre, before being taken for recycling into items such as shoe soles or plant containers. Meanwhile, Beaulieu, one of Napa Valley's best-known wineries, has confirmed that many of its red wines from recent vintages have been affected by TCA (2,4,6-trichloranisole), giving rise to musty, mouldy flavours. According to Wine Spectator, noticeable flaws' were discovered during regular blind tastings and the magazine decided to have some Beaulieu wines tested by an independent laboratory. ETS Laboratories in St Helena, Napa Valley, which claims to run one of the most advanced wine analysis laboratories in the world, conducted a series of tests and all 15 Beaulieu wines submitted had elevated levels' of TCA. Four bottles showed the presence of a specific form of TCA associated with wood products that have been treated with preservatives, suggesting that the Diageo-owned winery's taint problems are not limited to bad corks. Winemaker Joel Aiken is quoted by Wine Spectator as saying: We've been concerned. We've seen more corky wines than expected.' Greg Fowler, Beaulieu's senior vice-president of winemaking, said: We've tried everything. We've tested water, air and wood and we are going to get to the bottom of this.' Simonsig has announced that it is withdrawing some of its 1997 Tiara, owing to cork problems. (Wines with the certification code 0751 with the numbers 0065900 to 0081952 on the bottle neck.) The company requests customers stocking wine with these numbers to e-mail: with their invoice date and invoice number. The wine should be destroyed only after confirmation with Simonsig. Details of the replacement or credit information will be supplied after the consignment has been verified.