10 Sophisticated Wines That Age Well Over Time

Cultivating the best taste for a wine involves waiting, oftentimes years. Contrary to what most people assume, most wines – in fact, roughly 95 percent of which – aren’t meant to age. The majority of wines only last a couple years but the varieties that do age produce some extraordinary tastes.

Here are ten sophisticated wines that age well over time:

1. Dry red wines

Dry reds are some of the most popular wines available. The taste of an old, dry red wine is delightfully delicious. The aging of this wine promises moderately high acidity and a strong balance between the elements.

Some of the best dry red wines that work well aging up to 20 years in a cellar includes Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Syrah.

2. Dry white wines

Dry white wines shouldn’t be left to age as long as a dry red wine, because of the difference in structural components at play in the wine. White wines aren’t meant to age past 10 years.

When you are buying an aged dry white wine, you want to look for a variety with good acidity, a touch of bitterness from the polyphenols, and oak tannins. Some of the best dry white wines to age well includes White Rioja, Chardonnay, Trebbiano, and Garganega.

3. Sweet wines

Sweet wines are able to age longer than other wines because they have high sugar levels. Preserving the taste naturally, red sweet wines oftentimes last longer than whites although this is not necessarily always the case. Again, look for acidity.

Some sweet wines will age well for up to 50 years. Go-to sweet lines you can rely on for a classic taste includes Recioto della Valpolicella, Hungarian Tokaji Aszu, German-Alsatian Riesling, and French Sauternes.

4. Fortified wines

Fortified wines are those that have an added neutral distillate – usually grape brandy – to help preserve it. These wines last the longest, sometimes improving with age for up to 200 years and beyond. Not all fortified wines carry the same specifications so be sure to pay attention to what you’re buying.

Also, the time spent in wood for a fortified wine is a good thing as this means a wine’s been exposed to small amounts of oxygen through the wood. What this does is help to stabilize the taste. Some of our favourite fortified wines include Tawny Port, Madeira, Vintage Port, Banyuls, Sherry, and Vin Santo.

5. Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc comes from a green-skinned grape from France with origins as an indigenous fruit. We don’t usually think of a Sauvignon Blanc as a wine that’s going to age well for decades. It likely won’t. That said, if you buy a bottle today and stick it in your wine cellar, you can rest assured that removing it and having a glass a half-decade down the road may increase the compelling nature of its taste.

6. Chardonnay

There are plenty of vintage Chardonnay wines that prove that this is a line of wines well worth aging. Nuanced and restrained, a Chardonnay’s taste can improve for years pulling more from natural notes and acidity.

In decades, you’ll be amazed at the increased layers of flavor that come through after a decent amount of time waiting on a vintage. For at least 25 years, a Chardonnay can be really come to life although you can still pull a lot from it after even only 5 years.

7. Vouvray

Vouvray is a French wine that some call one of the world’s tastiest aged white wines. A dry Vouvray’s unbeatable. Procured from a producer such as Domaine Huel le Mont, you can rest assured what you will receive takes on a richness and honey-esque hint which only builds with some age.

8. Cotes du Rhone

Cotes du Rhone exists as a red, white, and rose. It’s as a red that perhaps it gets its best taste aged. Though expensive, a Cotes du Rhone’s dark and fruity overtones are hard to pass up. Storing them in a cellar for 5-10 years, pull them out a decade from now and drink with friends. You’ll absolutely be glad you set it aside today for a drink years down the line.

9. Gruner Veltliner

Gruner Veltliner is a very popular offering at restaurants and is known to pair well with a wide variety of foods. Some Gruner Veltliner’s get remarkably tastier with age. The savory nature of Gruner Veltliner can make it hard to put away but it’s well worth it. Taste toasty, creamy notes, allowing these to develop more thoroughly for at least a decade to come.

10. Red Bourdeaux

A red Bourdeaux is an immaculate and polished wine that will age well for decades. Some Bourdeaux wines are evidently better than others so like other varieties, research is key. You don’t want to waste time storing and waiting on a Bordeaux to improve when it’s unclear if it indeed will. Recent vintages produced post-2010 have received rave reviews from critics although admittedly, it’s still going to take time and patience to taste the age.

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