There are few things better than popping down into your cellar and pulling out a wine that you’ve been waiting for the right occasion to open. Almost always, this is a red wine because people want to have the wine down there to age and fully develop in time for even a few years in the planning.
There are a lot of white wines which can also age well and deserve a spot in your ageing cellar to be cherished and enjoyed in the right time. For instance, let’s say that you have a 10 year wedding anniversary planned with a menu of lobster and caviar. A pretty special meal, obviously. Will you be breaking out the 25-year-old cabernet sauvignon?
Not in the least, you’ll need a white wine for that meal. So, this is a situation that calls for heading down to the cellar and picking out a finely aged white wine.
In this article, I will go over the best types of white wine to age in your cellar for a special occasion.
1. Sauvignon blanc
Traditionally, sauvignon blanc was not a wine that was meant to age for long. A couple of years in the bottle was generally as long as you would wait. However, with new techniques, this wine is now seen as a fantastic, ageable white wine.
A sauvignon blanc from the Loire valley is one with a lot of structure that lends itself well to ageing. After a few years in your cellar, you can still expect it to have the bright acidity and crispness that you would want from a young and fresh version. Yet, it will also have a lot of complexity not usually associated with this varietal.
When it has enough residual sugar it can age quite nicely for up to 10 years but even beyond with the right wine.
2. White burgundy
Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines in the world. It is produced all over the world with some very fine versions coming out of the new world like the US and Australia.
However, the original chardonnay from Burgundy is the type that you can age. A highly oaked and buttery chardonnay from California for example is not going to achieve the complexity you might expect after a few years in the bottle.
A chablis is a fine candidate as its mineral content eases as it ages and the mouthfeel is satisfying.
Sauternes is a sweet wine that is more complex than an ordinary dessert wine. They have low levels of water content and even though they have a lot of residual sugar from the botrytized grapes, it still has enough acidity to age very well. The complexity of an aged Sauternes can be very surprising.
As it ages, it ends up having a creaminess on the palette and a high concentration of the honey, nuts and dried fruits that are present even in a young version.