Ageing gracefully; Is there a Genie in the bottle?

Each bottle of wine contains a genie – or rather, complex chemical processes involving a wine’s sugars, acids and phenolic compounds that can alter the bouquet, mouth feel and palate of a wine – all to make it more enjoyable for those with a serious appreciation for a good wine. This process, which can be likened to a genie doing its work in the bottle, takes time, hence the maturing or ageing of a wine to reveal its best potential.

Why age wines? According to an article written by Matt Kramer and published in the April 2010 edition of Wine Spectator, firstly the test of the character of a wine, as opposed to its style, is only revealed with time. Secondly, in today’s rapidly changing wine landscape, with so many new wines, coupled with new, ever-changing winemaking techniques, we must age wines, not merely to tease the genie out of the bottle, but rather, to see if there’s one in there at all.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans recognised the potential of aged wine stored in earthenware amphorae (a type of ceramic vase), with the most sought-after wines called “straw wines”, possessing the ability to age for decades due to their high sugar content. Today, aged or mature wines are still coveted by many, with your patience rewarded after long years of nursing your liquid investment to maturity.

At the Vinotèque we taste, taste and taste again to ensure that only wines with great maturation potential are selected. These wines are then matured in our maturation cellars under optimal conditions with low light, 75 percent humidity and constant temperatures of 14 degrees Celsius – key to ensure enjoyment.

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