The Abel Clément Cotes du Rhone 2005 switched seals mid-vintage and afforded an opportunity to get as close to a perfect comparison of cork vs. screwcap as a consumer can get.
As you can see, the labels differ slightly and the cork-finished bottle has a fancy Cotes du Rhone seal but the wines, as nearly as I could determine are exactly the same - other than the method of closure.
These bottles are no longer fresh and pristine, showing older, dried fruits and some tiredness. They no longer have much snap on the palate but were certainly tasty enough for eight year-old Cotes du Rhone...especially when you consider I paid about $8 a bottle for them.
In comparison, there was no contest. The screwcap bottle showed more vim and vigor than the cork version. They both had admirable staying power and offered enough fruit to make my mouth happy.
The planned tasting last fall never came together but I'm hoping this fall works for a full tasting of all of my experimental collection. Stay tuned for details of the event and a full post, or two, discussing the results.