Which of Your Wines are Worthy of Cellaring?

Folded Hills Case of Wine

Should you be cellaring and saving your wine? You might be surprised to know that age worthy wines are not common. Most wine (as much as 99% produced) is meant to be enjoyed young. Only a tiny fraction is designed to stand up and improve with aging. So if most wines should be enjoyed young, what allows a wine to withstand and actually improve over time?

The sugar levels, tannins, acidity and alcohol all have an influence on how wine ages. While even the most knowledgeable expert will not know exactly how long a wine can age for, here are some good indicators to help identify which wines are likely to improve and are best for cellaring.

1.) Price – A bottle under $30 is unlikely to hold up over time. That’s not to say all expensive wine cellars well, but rather that well-crafted wine usually comes at a cost.

2.) Quality of fruit – Wines made from lower quality grapes – as a result of poor farming – will break down and deteriorate much faster.

3.) Tannins – The natural element in wine that gives a drying sensation to the tongue. Tannin is found in the skins and seeds of grapes, along with oak, and tea leaves. So if a wine is made from a grape with thicker skins, and was aged in new oak barrels it will likely age for longer.

4.) Winemaker’s Notes – It’s always best to start at the source. If you buy directly from the winery they will be able to give you a good baseline for an expiration date.

Angela Osborne Pouring Grenache

Yes! Start with buying wines that you absolutely love and can’t live without – and that you will want more than one bottle of. Then ask the winery what their best guess is for cellaring potential. Buy at least a case so you can try a bottle every 6 months to see how it’s evolving. If it goes straight to the cellar and is ignored, you will miss out on the fun of it growing up!

Once you have your precious bottles home how should they be stored? We will answer that in the next Wine Wednesday.

Are Folded Hills wines meant for cellaring? We’ve made it easy for you to tell by giving our ready to drink wines our logo label, like Grant and August, and the cellar worthy wines a signature photo label. These beauties were intentionally made to have bolder flavors and firmer tannins when compared to Grant and August. In fact, we’ve decided to give them more time in the bottle so they will not be released until this Fall. They include the Ballard Canyon Syrah and Ballard Canyon Grenache. Wine Club Members will have first chance to enjoy them at the beginning of September. Learn more about joining the wine club here.

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