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MAESTRO

Brand name for a champagne closure developed by the French company ALCAN Packaging Capsules in cooperation with the champagne house Duval-Leroy, which was presented to the public in mid-2009. ALCAN is also the inventor and manufacturer of the well-known screw cap brand STELVIN. The closure consists of a capsule with a crown cork with an integrated clip for opening. As no conventional cork is used, the dreaded problem of cork tasting is also eliminated. The opening of a champagne bottle is therefore much easier and quicker than with a conventional closure. In addition, the "plop" (opening noise) popular with many consumers is retained. In the opinion of culture enthusiasts, no noise at all should be produced when removing the cork, and "pop the cork" is by no means part of the repertoire of a cultivated wine or sparkling wine connoisseur.

This special closure consists of a plastic capsule put over the top of the bottle with a crown cap inside which is not visible from the outside. On the side of the bottle neck there is a ten-centimetre-long bracket which pulls the capsule up when it is folded up, thereby releasing the crown cap. The capsule located above the crown cork sits so tightly over the bottle neck that a pronounced "plop" is produced when it is pulled up. It should be noted that during bottle fermentation and subsequent storage on the yeast, the bottles are usually also sealed with the crown cap until the dégorgement (removal of the yeast sediment) and only then are they finally sealed.

According to Alcan, the company had invested around one million euros in the development. It was assumed that an annual production of 15 million units would be achieved. According to a decision of a regional authority of the French competition authority DGCCRF in Champagne, however, the closure could not be used. The reason for this is a law on the protection of products with a designation of origin from May 1919 and an EU directive that lays down the criteria for the closure of sparkling wines. The Alcan company protested against this and argues with the advantages compared to the classic cork closure with metal cap and agraffe (wire basket). The final outcome of this case is not known. See also under closures and wine enjoyment.

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