Today the average wines are designed for quick enjoyment. The great wines, sweet wines, wines made from special grapes, fortified wines and champagne vintages can, and indeed should be, aged.
Not all wines improve with prolonged aging in bottle. Most are designed for rapid consumption and should be drunk within a year or two. Even the best quality wines have a limited lifespan that is very dependent on specific vintage. The bottle sizes are just as important; the ideal are the magnum bottles since the ratio between a minor amount of oxygen and a greater quantity of wine enables a slower ripening.
At this point the question arises: which wines are suitable for aging, that is, what other qualities develop and improve during maturation in the bottle?
Red Wines suitable for aging
The potential of red wines aging depends on the sufficient presence of tannins. Equally important, however, is the variety of grape, the limitation of yield, vintage goodness and the production method. During aging in the bottle, the tannins decompose and as a result the wine becomes softer.
Examples of red wines suitable for aging
- Bordeaux: large good years Châteaux
- Burgundy: preferably Grand Cru, Premier Cru and communal appellation
- Côtes du Rhône: Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, Cornas and the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- Madiran and Cahors the most prestigious manufacturers
- Italian DOCG: Brunello / Barolo, but also Sassicaia and Tignanello
- Gran Reserva Spanish, and Portuguese Barca Velha Colares, Lebanon Château Musar
- Red wines Americans prized, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz selected Australians
White Wines suitable for aging
In order to grow the white wines, they must possess a certain degree of acidity and sweetness.
The dry wines must therefore have a high content of tartaric acid. The acid forms the backbone of white wines, just as the tannins in red wines. Especially sweet white wines can be stored long due to high sugar content and the high degree of acidity.
Examples of dry white wines suitable for aging
- Big White Burgundy Grand Cru and Premier Cru
- Great Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé or Bordeaux
- Vouvray / white Savennières
- Best Riesling from Germany or Alsace
Examples of sweet white wines suitable for aging
- Sauternes, Barsac
- Sweet wines of the Loire
- Hungarian Tokay
- German and Austrian wines of the Auslese and Trockenbeerenauslese
Do Sparkling Wines age well?
Except for the champagne, sparkling very few improve with aging in the bottle. But even among the champagne only the cuvee improve and increase their quality with a longer maturity. An aged Champagne is a special experience, and also a matter of taste, since the content of carbon dioxide is greatly reduced.