Age-worthy wines are sought after for a reason. It requires a combination of meticulous craftsmanship in the vineyard and the cellar, complementing years of refined farming methods on ancient soils. Wines of stature promise an exceptional experience as it develops complexity, nuance and depth over time.
To truly understand the essence of age-worthy wines, we must begin by examining the vineyard itself… The quality and health of the vines will influence the intensity of the fruit, resulting in a wine with more acidity. Wines with elevated levels of acidity tend to preserve their freshness and vitality. Acidity acts as a natural preservative, enhancing the wine’s ability to develop intriguing secondary and tertiary aromas. As a result of organic farming, our grapes develop very high natural acidity, which means we can harvest slightly earlier without compromising on quality. It is this high level of natural acidity that extends the lifespan of a wine from 15 years to an impressive 25 years.
The quality of the tannins also plays a significant role. Interestingly, grape tannins bind with colour pigments in the bottle over time. The more colour and tannins, the longer the binding will last. While age-worthy wines often exhibit grippy tannins in their youth, with time, these tannins become smoother, contributing to a more balanced flavour profile. To facilitate this binding process, we utilize natural cork in our bottles, which allows only a fraction of oxygen to achieve the desirable characteristics.
While a producer’s ability to consistently produce high-quality wines remains a consideration for ageing potential, the vintage itself introduces an element of nuance. Each vintage carries the unique characteristics of the growing season, from bud break to the final moments of harvest. In exceptional years, where favourable growing conditions enhance the quality of the grapes, it often presents an opportunity for longer-term ageing. The 2020 vintage is one such example.
While some wines can age gracefully well past 15 years, their optimal ageing potential can only be achieved with proper cellaring techniques. Factors such as temperature control, humidity levels, bottle positioning, ventilation, and exposure to light all play vital roles in creating the optimal environment for exceptional wines to evolve and unveil their true character over time.