How wine ages

Aged wine or new Vintage?
The benefits of both.

To age or not to age? When it comes to wine, it’s actually a more complex question than you might imagine. The majority of people in Australia drink their wine within days of purchase. Full of bright colour and lifted fruit character, it’s often charming and hits the spot. But can it age well? The answer is, it depends. You can taste the signs a wine will age well when it’s still young. Look for structural traits like tannin and acidity that will help to see the wine through a graceful ageing process. To save you the hassle, here’s one we prepared earlier! 

White Label Vertical Tasting Pack 

We have put together our first ever vertical pack featuring three of our classic White Label wines. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. These three varieties are renowned in the Yarra Valley and often age beautifully. The pack showcases the difference between our new releases and their 2016 counterparts. When you taste the wines side by side, it’s easy to see the charms of both young and aged wine.

What’s included in the pack:
1 x 2022 White Label Chardonnay – Tasting note link
1 x 2016 White Label Chardonnay – Tasting note link
1 x 2021 White Label Pinot Noir – Tasting note link
1 x 2016 White Label Pinot Noir – Tasting note link
1 x 2019 White Label Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting note link
1 x 2016 White Label Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting note link 

Does wine grow old gracefully?

We all know that time and patience will be rewarded right? With the right wines, that is definitely true. Wine is a constantly changing solution of acids, tannins, phenols and flavour compounds. They are all sloshing around, bumping into each other and forming new flavours and textures. Over time, these reactions can develop into something wholly different from the original wine that went into the bottle. 

Take our White Label Chardonnay for example. The current release has a much lighter fruit profile on the nose, filled with white nectarines and citrus, all neatly tied together with a crisp acidity. Whereas the 2016 vintage has had time for the acid to soften, making all the elements in the wine more mellow. 

Pinot Noir is a wine that shows its age more obviously through the colour change. The pigments in wine change from a bright red with a slightly purple hue, to a lighter brick red over time. As the starting colour of Pinot Noir is generally less intense, it’s often easier to see the colour change with time. You can definitely see this when you compare the 2021 and 2016 vintages side by side. 

Cabernet Sauvignon is famous for ageing well. This is because all those tannins, which can feel somewhat astringent when the wine is young, band together over time, becoming softer. You can feel this in the sides of your cheeks when you swirl the wine around in your mouth. Have a go at comparing our 2019 with 2016 and see if you can feel the difference that only three years makes! 

How to look after older wines

We all need a little extra looking after as we age, right? Wine is no exception. It likes a cool, comfy hiding spot. Somewhere out of sight so you’re not tempted to drink it early. Wine doesn’t like three things when it’s ageing. Heat, light and vibrations. So keep it at a consistent 15–18°C and away from direct sun. It’s a bit of a misnomer that under the stairs is a good spot. The vibrations from people stomping up and down can be a problem for long term ageing. Or, even easier…let us take care of the ageing for you. Our barrel rooms are the perfect place for wine to develop. 

Serving aged wines depends a lot on how old the wine is. If it’s really, really old, it likely won’t benefit from decanting. At that point in a wine’s life, there is virtually no sulphur left and the wine can spoil easily if left opened for too long. The 2016 wines in the vertical pack will definitely benefit from about an hour or so of decanting time. It lets the wine breath. Literally! Oxygen diffuses into the wine and amplifies subtle aromas and flavours. Decanting is also a great way to separate aged wines from the typical sediment that builds in the bottle over time. 

Young Vs Old 

We think you will enjoy the best of both with our vertical tasting pack. Bright, fruit driven wines from fresh vintages will offer a different experience when compared to the charms of the 2016 wines in the packs. We encourage you to try them side by side and see if you can pinpoint the differences that come with age.
We are offering 30% off on these special release wines for a limited time. Perfectly cellared and waiting for you to experience them! 

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