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Drinking Windows

Drinking windows give an indication when a wine is likely to be at its peak for drinking. Opening a bottle at the right age will mean that the tannic structure of the wine has softened whilst still maintaining its freshness and concentration of fruit.

As we are predominantly specialists in Bordeaux and Burgundy, we have given our recommendations for these regions below. These are general guidelines so please see the appropriate vintage breakdown for more detailed advice.

Drinking windows give an indication when a wine is likely to be at its peak for drinking. Opening a bottle at the right age will mean that the tannic structure of the wine has softened whilst still maintaining its freshness and concentration of fruit.

As we are predominantly specialists in Bordeaux and Burgundy, we have given our recommendations for these regions below. These are general guidelines so please see the appropriate vintage breakdown for more detailed advice.

Bordeaux

  • For Classed Growth Bordeaux, 2015 and 2014 are not yet ready to drink. We generally recommend that customers drink and enjoy vintages 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006 and all vintages older than 2005.
  • If you have mature vintages stored with us under bond, we would advise you to have them delivered (duty, delivery and VAT charges are applicable) or we will be pleased to buy them back from you.
  • 2005 is a great vintage and a tricky one to judge. The First Growths and best Classed Growths still have a long life ahead of them however many can be opened now.
  • 2009 and 2010 are outstanding vintages. Cru Bourgeois and some Classed Growths can be opened but we recommend being patient, particularly with the top wines which require further cellaring.
  • For Dry White Bordeaux our advice is to drink these in their youth. Few benefit from keeping, and for Sweet White Bordeaux, these can be enjoyed young or old and remain under-valued and under-appreciated in our view.
  • Red Bordeaux Vintage Breakdown

Burgundy

  • For red Burgundy, all Bourgogne rouge should be opened and enjoyed while village wines can afford to be cellared for 2-3 years after release.
  • Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines from 2015 and 2014 are not yet ready to drink. Premier Cru wines older than 2009 should be drunk while younger vintages have the drink/hold recommendation. The same applies for Grand Cru wines however the 2005 vintage will also continue to improve in the bottle with additional cellaring.
  • Our advice for White Burgundy is not to store these for too long. Most wines older than 2010 should be withdrawn now.
  • Red Burgundy Vintage Breakdown

Drinking Recommendations

Please see below an explanation of the recommendations we include in your portfolio. These are intended as a rough guide only. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding specific wines and one of our team will be happy to provide further information regarding drinkability and value.

Recommendation   Explanation
Hold The wine is not yet regarded as being mature and our advice is to keep it in storage, although it can, of course, be sold at any time.
Drink/Hold The wine is just ready to drink but it has plenty of life ahead of it. It can be held in storage, taken out for drinking, or sold.
Drink/Sell The wine has reached full maturity and you should consider either removing it from storage to drink or selling it back to us.
Withdraw

The wine is fully mature and may well decline in quality with further ageing. It should be removed from storage for immediate consumption.

For further advice on specific wines or vintages or for adive on other regions, please email Ben Browett

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