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Wine age?? How do you know when it's past its prime?


Owtahear
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For example, I recently got some Rioja  Reserva from 2002.    That's 20 years!!    Would it be too old?    Obviously for some wines and vintages, that is nothing.   Just don't know.   

 

Any help on this??

Edited by Smithy
Corrected title spelling (log)
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There is no simple rule.

 

It depends on many factors. The specific wine, not just a grape or district; the vintage; how it has been made; how it has been stored etc. Legally protected descriptors, at least in Europe, are helpful, but not infallible.

I would say you have to research each wine individually considering all the factors involved.

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@liuzhou Is very correct.  Rijoa  Reserva are generally chosen from the best vintages and grapes rich enough to support being aged in oak for at least a couple of years.  What happens to them after they are bottled is unknown, but after bottled, generally, are expected to be drank after 3 to 5 years. Some factors that might make it too far gone after 20 years are being stored upright, in a room with fluctuating temperatures, exposed to sunlight for a period of time .  PS  Very few wines continue improve with that much age even in the best of conditions.

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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@weinoo's right about there being only one way to know for sure!

 

What does CellarTracker have to say about your particular wines?  As @liuzhou and @Norm Matthews pointed out storage conditions can have a big effect, but that would at least give you a start. 

You could also check with a wine shop that specializes in older vintages.  They likely have someone on staff who's familiar with older Rioja's or can recommend someone to you. 

I have a friend who loves his wines and only collects first growth Bordeaux and a specific subset of Rioja's.  There certainly are some that age well.  

 

 

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This might be of interest to the OP:

 

Wine Folly - Rioja Wine Gets a New Classification System

 

Quote

 

Reserva Rioja

 

Reserva is where things start to get serious with Rioja. We suspect this classification will continue to be the benchmark moving forward because it also includes the new sparkler, Espumosos de Calidad de Rioja.

 

Red wines in this classification typically have fantastic balance between fruit and structure (e.g. tannin and acidity), with subtle aged flavors of baking spice and dried fruit. This is one of those bottles you must try aging in a cellar to see how it evolves!

 

Red wines: Aged for a total of three years with at least one year in oak barrels and at least six months in bottles.

 

Sparkling wines: Wines must be aged “en tirage” (on the lees) for no less than 24 months. Vintage-dated espumosos must be hand-harvested.

 

White and rosé wines: Aged for a total of two years with at least six months in barrels.

 

 

The book is good too... (eG-friendly Amazon.com link)Wine Folly

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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  • 1 month later...

Rioja's age pretty well if you have a good one. Heck when I visited Lopez de Heredia in Haro they poured a 14 year white that tasted like it had years still left in it, truly amazing. @Owtahear I recommend you send your wine to me and i'll let you if it's still good 😇

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On 5/9/2022 at 12:01 AM, AAQuesada said:

Rioja's age pretty well if you have a good one. Heck when I visited Lopez de Heredia in Haro they poured a 14 year white that tasted like it had years still left in it, truly amazing. @Owtahear I recommend you send your wine to me and i'll let you if it's still good 😇

 

Lopez de Heredia Whites are particular ones, and not really representative of Rioja... at least if we talk about rioja's whites. I still have several that now are over 20 years old (some pretty older). Not my preferred type of whites (I have used them with game, often with woodcock), but very nice, and I got them for free (for some personal reasons). The same for some "rosados" I got and are really good. 

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