Built to Last: Wines to Welcome into Your Cellar


Built to Last: Wines to Welcome into Your Cellar

Tom Baxter |
It’s not uncommon to hear friends and relatives hoping to ‘age like a fine wine.’ It’s certainly true that a great wine aged under the correct conditions can be elevated to a dazzlingly complex and memorable experience when uncorked – but are all wines destined to mature that way?

Keep in mind: when cellaring age-worthy wines, the imbiber is looking to intensify, harmonise, resolve and adequately mature the wine’s profile. In other words? An outright improvement is what one hopes to see once it’s in the glass.

Conversely, the vast majority of wine is best enjoyed when it is still within a year or two of its commercial release and to age it beyond this is to miss out on this youthful beauty. Alas, locking these wines up in your cellar thus doesn’t seem like the way to let them sing their greatest song.

So what are the ingredients that make up a wine built for cellaring? Flavour concentration and intensity of expression are beneficial, as wines depend on these to sustain their journey towards a more complex guise. Acidity can also be an important source of freshness and vibrancy, acting as a highlighter of the wine’s aromatic profile and a counterpoint to other richer elements. Abundant tannins, higher alcohol and some residual sugar can at times play their part too, but this is no exact science!

To make matters easier, Sotheby’s Wine suggests an array of fine wines that we feel are strong candidates for ageing gracefully. When it comes to these estates, these cuvées and these vintages, the future looks bright (if you can wait for it).

Should you have any questions about the specific drinking windows of these wines or others, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Cheers!

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