Bacchus Wines raises a glass to the wines with true ageing potential
The boutique wine merchant shares the rare wines perfect for ageing and tells us why, sometimes, it’s more fun not to wait
At Bacchus Wines PLDC, we love wine. What’s not to love? A well-chosen glass of wine brings us joy – entertains friends, improves a meal, and turns a dull dinner party into one worth talking about.
As an independent boutique wine merchant, Bacchus Wines PLDC focuses on a small but perfectly curated collection. Our bespoke wine offer is exclusive and sourced from non-mainstream but highly regarded and award-winning vintners, who have multi-generational winemaking know-how. But when it comes to adding rare and valuable wines to our collections, how do we know what has the best ageing potential – and what to drink now?
TIMED TO PERFECTIONAgeing wine is the process of storing wine over time to allow it to develop and improve in flavour. In some cases, a good wine can become truly exquisite with ageing.
However, not all wines are created equal. When it comes to ageing potential, some wines do not have the necessary characteristics to develop and improve over time. Acidity is essential for preserving wine and preventing it from oxidising, and so wines with low acidity are more likely to deteriorate with age. While alcohol can contribute to the complexity of a wine, too much can make a wine unbalanced and difficult to age; likewise, wines with delicate aromas are more likely to lose their fragrance over time and cuvées from warmer climates tend to have shorter ageing potential because the grapes are more likely to be overripe.
Interestingly, most champagnes tend not to age well. Vintage and prestige cuvées could fare well with correct storage in cool, dark conditions, but after ten years, the effervescence can dissipate and the colour of the champagne will change. So, if you’ve been saving that special bottle from moons ago, don’t lose it; drink it now.
There are a few key factors that determine whether a wine is age-worthy. Acidity is one of the most important factors, as it helps to preserve the wine and prevent it from oxidising. Tannins, too, are rather crucial. Tannins are compounds that give the wine its structure and ‘mouthfeel’. They can be harsh in young wines but can soften over time and become more integrated with the other flavours in the wine. Like acidity, alcohol also helps to preserve wine and contributes to its complexity as it ages. Undoubtedly, some grape varieties are more age-worthy than others. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all known for their ageing potential.
AGEING YOUR WINEThe time it takes for a wine to age will vary. Generally speaking, red wines tend to age better than white wines. Red wines with high acidity and tannins can age for decades while white wines with high acidity, such as chardonnay, can age well but typically peak within five to ten years.
Wine likes to be stored in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature. Ideally, the temperature should be between 10-15˚C. Never store wine in direct sunlight or humid conditions as this will affect the entire structure of the wine. For both white and red wine, wine fridges are ideal if the cellar is a little full. Wine fridges keep the wine at the optimum temperature and are a welcome addition to any kitchen.
When opening an aged wine, our top tip is to pour it slowly and carefully to avoid aerating it too much. Old wines can be delicate, so it’s best to take your time and savour them. If the ageing process has been successful, you will be rewarded with red wines with nuances of prunes, raisins, dried cherry, tobacco, leather and cedar. These new hints will develop over time, and you could be in for a treat.
DRINK NOWL’Équilibriste Bordeaux Rouge
A deep purple-red Bordeaux with intense nuances of blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry, and notes of peony and violet on the nose. Round on the palate with crunchy and juicy fruit. Mineral and floral flavours on a subtle and silky tannic framework. L’Équilibriste (pictured) contains no sulphites, meaning fewer reservatives. An exceptional and critically-applauded wine that pairs perfectly with roasted vegetables, grilled shellfish, or charcuterie.
La Roseraie Bordeaux Rosé
A light and elegant pale rosé, La Roseraie is bright yet subtle and offers excellent freshness, with floral aromas of hawthorn, lychee and rose. This award-winning rosé is ideal with canapes that include cream, vegetables, cheese and smoked salmon, as well as desserts with strawberries. The 2022 vintage – loved for its lively, aromatic nuances – was produced from direct pressing and created to obtain the most refined and delicate wine possible.
PERFECT FOR AGEINGEsprit de Parenchère Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge
A highly concentrated yet elegant wine, this cuvée offers exceptionally long ageing potential and embodies the quintessence of the Chateau’s terroir. The blend is composed predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape with the most structure and an excellent aptitude for ageing. It is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months on fine lees, without racking and micro-oxygenation. Esprit de Parenchère is ideal after eight to 15 years (or even longer in adequate conditions).
Chateau de Parenchère Cuvée Raphaël
The Chateau’s flagship wine, the Cuvée Raphaël is an intense, concentrated wine with elegant tannins and a smooth, mellow finish. Named for Raphaël Gazaniol, who took over and renovated the Parenchère estate in 1958, it is produced from a selection of the most exemplary estate plots, from vines more than 40 years old. Aged in Tonçais oak barrels for 12 months, Parenchère uses the ‘micro-oxygenation’ technique, sending fine bubbles through the barrels to perfectly preserve the wine’s fruit and elegance. This wine is excellent in its first year of bottling, but ageing between four and ten years will enhance its elegance and complexity.
Find out more about Bacchus Wines at bacchuspldc.com