What allows a wine to age?
Approximately 95% of all wine is produced in a style that is meant to be consumed within 3-5 years of harvest. This is determined by grape variety, growing region and how the wine is produced. Roughly 5% of all wine will get better with age and thus is worthy of aging. A wine that is worthy of aging must have a moderate to relatively high amount of at least one of these components …
These components act as natural preservatives and slow the process of oxidation. The wines that age the longest typically have a combination of two of these components. Some examples:
- Red Bordeaux – tannin & acidity
- Barolo – tannin & acidity
- Mosel Riesling – acidity & residual sugar
- Sauternes – acidity & residual sugar
The length of time a wine can age is often used as an indicator for how great a wine is. In other words, great wines age longer then average wines. The ability to age is one of several factors that make a great wine, great.
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