Do California wines age faster than old world wines?
Answer: There are 3 primary components that allow a wine to age: tannin, acidity and residual sugar. To age well, a wine needs to have 2 out of the 3 …
These structural components act as natural preservatives. They slow down the oxidation process, allowing the primary fruit aromas to develop into tertiary ones. It is also important to note – you must have good fruit concentration from the start – otherwise the wine will have the ability to age, but there is very little to develop from.
The specific growing region and the winemaking style can also contribute to agebility. In general, wines from California do age more quickly than wines from Bordeaux or Barolo, as example. If we were to compare Napa Valley vs. Bordeaux, the climate in Napa is warmer (lower acidity) and the harvest date is typically later in the season (riper, more concentrated fruit, less astringent tannins, lower acidity.) And lastly, as compared to Bordeaux or Barolo, wines from California are typically not aged as long in new wood barrels (lower tannins.)