When is wine good to drink?
Like humans, wine evolves. We observe 3 phases which are:
- The climax
- The decline
The peak phase is assimilated to the adulthood of the wine, a period during which the wine is ripe, blossomed to be savored with pleasure and delight. The peak varies depending on the vintage, the appellation, the material of the wine and its density.
The shelf life of wine is the phase in which the climax ends. Taking into account the shelf life, a distinction can be made between wines for rapid, low, medium and long aging.
It is often recommended not to open a bottle of wine for a year after bottling. Beyond this rule, know that each wine follows its own development, the peak of which may vary between three and twenty years. Rather funny, the evolution curve of a wine is irregular, with times of downturn. The wine is then said: closed.
So when can you taste a wine?
When the wine is said: young, it is difficult to determine its evolution and to define its peak. For the wine to age optimally, it must be well constructed, have tannins and natural acidity.
What differentiates wines during their development?
Here are a few tips for knowing what stage your wine is in. Your wine is still young: its aromas are fresh, fruity, acidic and tannic. The tannins have a green tea feel and literally cover your tongue, palate and inner cheeks. Note: the wine will smell a strong woody smell if it has been aged in oak barrels.
Your wine is at its peak: its nose is fruity and tends towards ripe and candied fruits. Its tannins are soft and the wine is more supple. The acidity is also less marked. A woody wine will evolve towards notes of coffee or more musky.
Your wine has reached its decline phase: the fruit smells and woody aromas have given way to an unsightly odor. You can see some deposit at the bottom of the bottle. The wine is discolored and has no flavor.
Does your wine have the potential to age?
In fact, the more powerful, acidic and tannic the wine, the more likely it is to age well. Therefore, if you are used to tasting them, choose fresh wines with tannins. If you're just starting out, get advice from a wine merchant to get the shelf life you want.
Can your wine still age?
To find out, the best method is still to taste it. Ideally, you can buy a case of 6 or 12 bottles of a vintage and uncork one every now and then. It is by gauging that you will know if your wine has good aging potential.
Why age great wines?
With this question, take into account the fact that it is important not to let the peak of great wines pass without giving in to the temptation to taste great wines before their time. Of course, advances in oenology allow us to appreciate wines that are earlier, more consistent under glass. However, it is high time to respect the maturation of great wines.
Did you know that almost all white wines as well as ¾ of red wines were practically ready to drink when they were put on the market? Understand by this, when the producers led them to own consumption, that is to say without taking into account the normal aging times.
Too often, wines are drunk too young, before they find their balance and can assert their character and the power of their terroir. As a result, producers are encouraged to outbid the value of their production by turning a blind eye to the right initial dosage. All great wines generally have this evolutionary curve:
During their first five years, they suggest a charming fruit except for the short periods of change of season where they fall back.
In their intermediate phase (between five and ten years), the latter tend to reduce, their aromas harden, bringing out their tannins and acidity. Finally, after the intermediate phase, they generate a second wind to take the form of their genes with noble and superior virtues.
If you have a good cellar, these great wines can last an additional ten years in order to make good use of their qualities. All of them, it should be noted that after thirty or forty years, the corks will have great difficulty in preserving the quality of the wine.