How long do wines keep?

Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape variety which should be drunk young 1-2 years, although reputable growers can easily reach 3 years. The Chardonnay white grape, principally from Burgundy, France, can keep between 10-20+ years depending on the grower. Such wines like Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis Grand Cru, Corton Charlemagne, Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, all have good ageing potential and would benefit further with laying-down. You often hear the term ‘sleep’ for wines that need ageing in the bottle to mature to their potential. In principle, these are white wines ranging from £25.00 plus a bottle. The other worthy white grape varietal for laying-down is Riesling, best examples from Germany. White Chateauneuf du Pape and Condrieu from the Rhone Valley, France, are also worthy sleepers . The exception for whites would of course be ‘greats’ from Sauternes, Bordeaux (dessert whites) which keep extremely well and longer still i.e. Chateau d’Yquem, Climens, Barsac etc. These cost over £50.00 a bottle, and much more depending on the vintages bought. 

Red grape varietals have much better ageing potential, as they contain high concentration levels of phenols; anthocyanins (the colouring matter found just under the grapes’ skins) and tannins (found also in skins and pips and the wood in which wine is aged). These factors help great reds for laying-down (as during ageing the tannins mellow and soften), such as red grape varietals of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah or Shiraz (Shiraz being the New World term for Syrah, as Syrah grows best from the Rhone, France). Nebbiolo and Sangiovese from Italy (big bold reds that have ageing potential). The French Pinot Noir can lay-down for a long-time also. Always secure a top producer from a fantastic vintage when considering wines to lay-down. In principle, these are red wines ranging from £20.00 plus a bottle, and for those ranging under this budget would suit drinking from 1-5 years of purchase date.

Note the bottle sizes you purchase, as half bottles 375ml mature much quicker than standard 750ml size bottles, with the best for ageing potential being magnum size bottles 1500ml, which have been hugely popular in the last few years, with some serious collectors on the lookout. These magnums are particular popular for entertaining larger groups (6-8 guests).

If you are a magnum collector, please email for our current availability of magnum and jeroboam selections (1500ml - 3000ml), which are updated upon sale.