This Matter of Cellaring (Part Two)

Seasoned wine enthusiasts who have taken up the ageing of wines, find that they have to keep close track of their cellar. They watch a wine by tasting it along its path to maturity. When it has reached its peak of development, they then set out to consume it in a reasonably short term of time, to catch it at its best state. In the cellar, these wines have been separated from the wines designated for current consumption to avoid the chance of opening a bottle before its time.

Last month we discussed the cellaring of wines for general or current consumption, let us now talk about the cellaring of ageing wines.

  1. Objective:

There must be interest and de­sire to age wine. The objective is to enjoy the sublime final product of the different styles and varietals that have ageing ability.

  1. Conditions:

As close as possible to the ideal. Ageing temperature is best at 55 degrees F. Absence of direct light, vibration, humidity, and chemicals in the area is important. Position the bottles such that wine touches the cork. This keeps the cork wet and expanded.

  1. Content:

Certainly, it should be what you like to drink. And… these should be from wines that have maturing potential. The wines you prefer that do not have ageing po­tential should be in your “Ready to Drink” cellar. Generally, there should not be any Chenin Blanc, French Colombard, Gamay Beau­jolais, Soave, Verdicchio, Musca­det, Sancerre, Valpolicella, Bardo­lino, Rose and others in this cellar.

Wines that belong in a “Cellar of Maturing Wines” could include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Petit Sirah, Merlot, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Late Har­vest wines and Sauvignon/Semil­lon and their import equivalents. Naturally, some pedigreed exam­ples would add to the experience and allow some comparisons.

  1. Quantity:

I prefer to have more bottles of the same wine and less variety than 1 or two bottles of different wines. This allows me to track more sys­tematically and have ample supply for a special occasion.

  1. Term:

The cellar itself, forever! The wines; their potential is important but as a general rule of thumb: Dry whites..up to 8 years. Sweet whites and dry reds…up to 15 years+

  1. Requirements:


AWARD WINNER: At a recent competition, Expo Du Vin the Monte Verde 88 Chardonnay (290A) won the Bronze medal: Pat, pat, pat…(on the back).

PLEASE NOTE: Chateau Moncontour ’86 Vouvray, and Mira­monte ’82 Cabernet are back on the reorder list. Last chance……

PK Jr.

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