White wines are often best consumed fresh. Yet Gapsted Wines has a number of white wines that, if stored correctly, will continue to develop as they age. Gapsted Wines’ senior winemaker Toni Pla Bou reveals what these wines are, and how they’ll evolve with some tender loving aging.
Riesling is a great wine to age. Our multi-award winning 2016 Valley Selection Riesling is from a super vintage and has all the characteristics to age well. It has an excellent fruit intensity, has wonderful freshness (acidity) that will ensure that the wine will keep for 10 years and beyond. As it matures, it will span the gamut of flavours from floral, lime, mineral to toast, honey, lanolin and kerosene.
Our 2016 Limited Release Viognier is a slightly earlier picked expression of Viognier and so shows a great tight freshness and fruit expression with excellent complexity from oak aging and a full wild unclarified fermentation. This wine should transform from orange blossom and apricot to complex honeysuckle, cream, cedar, spice. The wine should age from 5 to 10 years.
Lastly, the dark horse variety for aging, I believe, is our 2016 Limited Release Fiano. Like the wines above it not only has good fresh acidity, but also has an X-factor, and a hitherto unimagined complexity that emerges with time. The wine is already an enigma to describe in its youth, and reveals an elusive “je ne sais quoi” (a certain something) array of secondary characters with the passing months and years. It will age for 4 to 8 years, and then maybe some.
The above assumes you’ve stored these wines correctly. All of Gapsted’s wines are in screw top which means that if they are stored correctly, then those wines that are age worthy will age well for some time. Screw tops limit the ingress of air into bottled wine, thus removing one of the elements that prematurely ages and damages a wine. So if you store your screw capped wine always below 20°C (ideally below 14°C), with no exposure to light, then you should experience the mystery and pleasure of a wine as it evolves and blossoms.
A few more salient points about aging. Firstly, when wines age they change quite a bit. They develop secondary characters, the primary fresh fruit they had will develop different facets, and the palate will appear more savoury than sweet. The toasty honey aged characters the wines develop may not be to everyone’s liking, as people are so accustomed to drinking young wines.
Secondly, there are times in a wine’s evolution when it hits an adolescence or midlife, where the wine has a crisis of identity. At times a maturing wine can look ungainly, because it is neither young nor mid aged nor fully mature, but somewhere in between. But just like a person’s travel through life, a well composed wine will eventually achieve a confident expression of its stage of “life”. All that is required is patience.