aged wines

Tasting and service

Aged wines?

Drinking an aged wine is a moment for appreciating its history, the work of the artisan who made it and, above all, the incredible alchemy that went into creating its aromas, which when paired with the effects of time work to produce what appears in the glass in your hand. Whether red or white, what is an aged wine?

Published on October 14, 2020

“Aging well means staying young longer.”
Denis Dubourdieu, a Bordeaux oenologist

Are you a fan of aged wines? Appreciating old wines is not intuitive, but an acquired taste. Also, aged wine is a relative term—it’s hard to talk about an old wine without first defining what you consider to be young! In this there is no simple rule. Every wine is unique and evolves in its own way. A light, unassuming red wine might be “aged” after five years, while a great, 40-year-old bottle of Bordeaux could still be considered in its youth!

How does wine transform during aging?

When aged, white wines become golden coloured, their acidity decreases and they develop notes of cooked apple and dried fruit, with accents of hazelnut and sometimes even of rancio. With the acidity reduced the wine takes on a fatter texture, more fleshy, with a significant length in the mouth. This acidity acts as a kind of backbone during the aging process, ensuring the wine ages well.

For reds, the colour changes in the opposite direction, becoming more orange, terracotta (like the roofs of the houses in Tuscany) or brick. Their bouquets become more complex, the maturation adding more evolved notes to their aromatic profile. In terms of structure, while acidity is just as important to red wines, it is the tannins that play a more important role in terms of whether the wine will age well. Tannins are responsible for that dry feeling in the mouth when tasting, also called astringency. They play a role as a preservative, but fade over time, and along with the wine’s natural pigments, they are responsible for the sediment found at the bottom of bottles of aged wine.

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