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bottle aging

affinage (F)
bottle mature (GB)
affinamento (I)
afinamento (PO)

After bottling starts with still wines the reductive Level of maturation without or with very little oxygen, Many producers store higher quality wines for up to 12 months and longer in the bottle before marketing, which is why they also speak of bottle aging or bottle refinement. A certain bottle maturity is also in many countries with individual wines wine law required. In contrast to aging Under which one understands all changes of a wine to the "end of life", under bottle maturation rather only the positive changes are summed up to the climax.

bottle aging

However, there is no clear separation between the two terms. In connection with the culmination of a wine is often the term maturity used, which is the optimal time to enjoy. This condition can be given before the climax, so to speak. However, the two terms can also be understood as synonymous, since they are by no means to be understood as "due date-related" and can extend over a longer period of time, that is, even over several years.

On barrel aging has a positive effect on maturation. In the case of long-lived wines, bottle aging is often a development process lasting many years, until in extreme cases they only come to a climax after many years (rarely decades) and then again dismantle, During the complex aging / maturing process, the appearance and the appearance change Aroma, The chemical changes are partly due to oxidative Processes (see also under oxygen management ). Depending on the type of closure, a minimum amount of oxygen is supplied through the closure, which can be considered as micro-oxygenation (Nanooxigenation). This can even be done by means of special closures (eg Nomacorc. VinPerfect ) are controlled consciously.

However, many processes during which are not dependent on the oxygen, but reactions between the other ingredients or their decay. By enzymes Controlled biochemical processes consume the oxygen, but would run without it, but much slower. Through cooperation of oxygen. acids and alcohol the enrichment takes place with ester, These are flavorful, mostly volatile compounds with sweet fruit aroma. The amount of acids does not change, although this subjective impression arises in older wines. They even come out stronger at the end of life.

The colour goes through a typical cycle of change, which also allows conclusions about the age of a wine. For red wines usually change the anthocyanins (Dyes) from initially dark purple or bluish red to lighter colors such as ruby red, garnet red, brick red, and orange red, then back to darker brownish red tones. At the end of his life a then no longer optiml tasting red wine shows a completely brown color. In this process are different phenols to a crust polymerized (Caked). These substances are stored as depot from the bottom of the bottle. However, they are by no means as wine faults to look at and be careful as possible decanting be removed.

In the white wine are much less tannins included, so the change is not so great. The initially straw yellow to light golden color with often greenish reflections changes continuously to darker tones. For certain high phenolic varieties, the color may change to deep yellow and orange yellow. If a tan occurs, this is usually undesirable. At the end of his life, a white wine also turns dark brown. Influence on the color also has the grape variety and the type of expansion. Wines with oxidative expansion like the sherry. port wine or off botrytis Berries always have a deeper, darker color.

During the maturation of the bottle and the complex chemical processes involved, the tertiary ones develop flavors, Their training begins with the decomposition of the carbon dioxide dissolved in the young wine, the polymerization of substances and of esterification, Everything that was "hard and square" in the wine is now "rounder, gentler and more harmonious". An important aspect is the "right enjoyment age" of a wine. Some wines must be stored in the bottle for a few years before being marketed in accordance with the laws of each country. But also the development process of a wine has an end, because no wine is indefinitely durable and does not become "eternally better". Also the cork or the closure plays an important role. If this becomes brittle and permeable to air, it can be accessed through access oxygen a oxidation begin.

An often asked question is whether substances - and if so which ones - are broken down over time. To analytical Measurements are due to natural aging no decrease in the residual sugar measurable, or at most marginal (perhaps 0.5 g / l). The same applies to acids and the PH value, The apparent reduction of sweetness (sugar) in mature wines is an "imaginary" sensory sensation. In essence, the impression is due to the fact that other substances of the wine like tannins, such as vegetable and mineral Sounds more noticeable, while the fruity Sheet music is significantly less present. Boy Sweet wines In their primary fruit phase, that's why they taste the same sweet because the juvenile fruit enhances the sweetness impression. See this purely subjective taste sensation under the keyword sugar content,

As the wine progresses, these primary fruit flavors gradually disappear over time, while now bitter tasting components become more prominent. The impression of the sweetness can thereby subjectively noticeably lower, although the actual sugar content has not changed at all. For nominally dry wines with a few grams of residual sugar, the opposite effect can occur. In the primary fruit phase, the existing sweetness is sometimes equated with fruit and therefore not perceived separately from it. If the primary fruit disappears, the sugar remains clearly recognizable and is suddenly perceived separately, which makes the wine look sweeter.

By oxidative processes, age aromas such as Alterston and firn develop. These are usually understood as wine mistakes. To a lesser extent and for certain wines, however, fir trees are accepted as positive. With defective cork is therefore one Neuverkorkung worth considering what some wineries offer for their best products as a service. A further development in the bottle to a climax, there are usually only with still wine. At a sparkling wine (see there) the development is completed in most cases from the marketing or the peak already reached. The same applies to distillates of all kinds, for example Armagnac. cognac. brandy etc. All the (positive) changes during the ripening process can be enjoyed quickly young wine Of course not yet available. See the topic also under the keywords durability and vintage, such as oldest wines and most expensive wines,

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Right picture: From gusaap on Pixabay

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