WHETHER wines need to be cellared before drinking has sparked much debate in the industry. People often ask whether all wines need aging. The answer is "no."
Only premium wines, especially super premium ones such as Lafite, require a long time in the cellar to arrive at their peak, so it depends on the patience of the drinker.
Wine collectors who know their stuff would never "kill the baby," instead, they are patient and wait until the wine is able to show its true nature and complexity. Such collectors will "wake up" the wine after an appropriate period of time.
This process is known as bottle aging. Fine wines can develop more complex flavors and a silky texture after bottle aging. However, not all wines need bottle aging to drink. Table wines and entry level wines are made for earlier drinking and should be consumed in two to three years.
Whether a wine needs to mature in the bottle depends on factors such as grape variety, wine producing region, vintage, the oak used and the producer.
White wines like Riesling, which is famous for its petrol like aromas after three to five years in a bottle, barrel aged Chardonnay, Semillon, Gruner Veltliner and red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon blends, Nebbiolo and Syrah all need time to develop new aromas and a better texture.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines can generally age the longest with some wines keeping for over a century.
Pinot Noir is commonly not a long-living wine while Bourgogne, the world's most mysterious and magical wine producing region, masterpieces can keep for 80 years or longer.
The vintage is also important. Wines from great vintages usually have longer aging potential than those from so-called "weak" vintages.