Does Vintage Matter?

Does Vintage Matter? Image

This topic has come up quite a lot recently, so we thought we would share a few pointers to make sure you are drinking the wines at their best...

When is it best to drink my wines?

It's all to do with the style of wine, the colour and origin of your wine. I will try and explain in an easy way that is in no way definite but will give you some general principals to follow.

It's not that these wines will suddenly turn bad overnight, it's just a little advice to take notice of the wines you are buying and their vintage.


White and Rosé wines

Fresh, crisp, white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Albarino; these should be enjoyed by the end of the year following the vintage. 2015 white wines will start to depreciate in flavour and fruit by the end of 2016 early 2017. Rosé wines follow the same pattern.

Below are a couple of great examples of wines made with the intention of drinking NOW! 

Angelvin Provence Rosé Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc, Waterkloof Monte Schiavo Verdicchio Classico

Angelvin Rosé from St Tropez, Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc, Verdicchio Classic Amphora 

Aromatic, white wines with more flavour and a richer mouthfeel, Chardonnay, Gavi, Pinot Gris Alsace wines. These will not only last longer, but may increase in flavour with maturity over the next 2 years.

For white wines with oak ageing it is a totally different spectrum of events. We can estimate that some wines with some oak influence will improve up to 5 years whilst some Burgundian styles will last longer.


Burgundy itself has its own rules regarding different vineyards and different oak styles used that will allow the wines to improve up to 20 years and beyond if you wish, gaining deeper colour and complex flavours as time goes on. It doesn't mean to say that these very well made Burgundy wines cannot be enjoyed young, two or three years old and these fine wines can give an amazing concentration of wine flavours and minerals combined with fresh zippy acidity to give a great finish and a long and happy thought! This part is down to how you like your wines.

Some great Burgundy wines below that will just get better... 

Meursault, Vallet-Frères Pernand Vergelesses Vallet Frères

Mersault, Vallet-Frères, Pernand Vergelesses Vallet-Frères

Red Wines

Red wines come under the same principals really, there are red wines made in areas where the price denotes that time and effort spent on the final product is kept to a minimum. This does not mean that corners have been cut, or the wine will not be of a quality that is expected of this wine. These are generally fruit based wines, young fun wines, what we call entry level wines. These will last perfectly for 2 years from the date of vintage with virtually no loss of flavour.


Light Red wines from single domains and single vineyards with no oak ageing, such as Beaujolais, Pinot Noir from New Zealand, Chile or France, Spanish Tempranillo - light fruity and full of fun. These will last up to 3 years from vintage date, unless stated ‘Fût de Chêne' on the bottle meaning oak aged. These will last up to 6 years. However, the younger the wines the more fresh fruit will be apparent – again down to your personal preferences.


Light and medium bodied red wines with oak ranging from Burgundy to Rioja Crianza, across Spain (other than Reserva wines) and a lot of Italian wines. These vary totally, ageing anything from 5 years globally to 20 – 25 years with the more expensive smaller production, especially Burgundy, Barolo and smaller single domain production. As with white wines these are recommendations but early consumption will allow more fruit to be enjoyed.

Some 'grape' examples of light to medium bodied reds below for you to try and enjoy! 


Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva  Leza Garcia Tinto Familia Crianza  'Les Six', Cairanne Côtes du Rhone

Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva,Tinto Familia Crianza, 'Les Six' Carianne Côtes du Rhone

Heavier reds-  Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz/Syrah - follow the same procedure as lighter reds. Without oak they will last between 3 – 5 years comfortably and with oak, they will mature nicely up to 8 years. Obviously, as we all appreciate, quality Bordeaux is produced with age maturation so your individual vintage will be a very important factor to bring into the equation.

This is just a guide to help you buy and utilize the rotation of your own wines with confidence. If you are unsure, please pop into our shop to discuss or call us on 01629 815255. 

Last Updated: 12/05/2017
Author: Sarah Hattersley
Sarah Hattersley

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