We have noticed that Leroy bottles, appellation irrelevant, tend to house wet, moldy, or wine stained corks. Personal experience and research combined tell us that it is fair to say that these seemingly faulty corks are not a sign of fault at all, but more apropos a sign of conscientious wine making and diligence in terms of wine preservation.
At a recent tasting we opened seven bottles from Maison Leroy, 3 of which were moldy, 2 wine soaked, and 2 seemingly normal. The wines dated from 2003 through 2011, and after opening and tasting, I can vouch for the quality found inside each. There were absolutely no faults with each wine showing vibrancy and depth of fruit.
Empirical evidence is one thing, and slightly limited as we cannot test every bottle that comes through (although we can try), so we did some digging. Facts about Leroy corks:
- Each bottle from Bourgogne up through Grand Cru receives the same cork, each with the highest quality possible
- The corks are soaked in water to give what Leroy feels is the ideal seal (no paraffin or wax here)
- Wet corks when stored in humid cellars can result in mold (see photo left)
- The water can mix with some loose wine during bottling which tints the cork. The color is not from leakage but from cellar handling!
- Bottles tend to be overfilled
So do not fret if you see a wet or mold ridden cork from Leroy. Each and every one of her corks is soaked from Bourgogne to Grand Cru, and each and every one faces her same exacting standards. Fear not.
Further reading: https://thepersistentpalate.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/what-doesnt-kill-you-the-moldy-cork-explained/