Debunking Myths: The Older a Wine, the Better

Wine

30/05/2016

How often has a relative or friend tried to impress you by bringing out a wine they'd been saving for years only to realize it’s completely undrinkable? 

 

Some wines are meant to be drunk young, others to bottle-age for decades—it all depends on how they are made. Certain wines need time to reach their peak, whereas others are made to be consumed fairly quickly. This usually means within a year or two of bottling.

 

Of course you can still drink them later on, but over time, they begin to decline and lose the characteristics that the winemakers wanted to express in making these wines.

 

A young briefly barrel-aged red is meant to express what we call primary aromas, particularly fresh red fruit like plums, strawberries, cherries or raspberries.  Depending on the winemaking style, these wines may display slight traces of vanilla, spices or toast imparted by oak aging, but these should always be very subtle.  

 

Over time, the palate will lose its light, fruit-forward character and the color will deteriorate quite rapidly. Once you pour it into a glass, you'll notice how unappealing the wine looks.

 

Fresh white wines provide an easy example of how the passage of time is not always a good thing. After about two years, their color darkens, and they quickly lose the acidity that made them so enjoyable in their youth.

 

However, wines made from more robust varieties like Chardonnay that undergo barrel and bottle aging improve with age if cellared properly. Over time, they develop notes of quince, honey and wax, highly prized aromas in an oak-aged Chardonnay.  

 

Have you ever tried a Jean Leon Vinya Gigi Chardonnay that has bottle aged a few years? It is truly magnificent—as long as it has been properly cellared, of course!

Categorías: Wine