Was wondering what characteristics would make a chard an ager?

Common wisdom says that Chards should be drunk immediately-four years after release with reason being that whites don't have the stuff to age.

Yet, there are burgundy's that seem to defy aging.
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Good question. I like almost all Chardonnays within 4 years of vintage. I've done experiments in the past keeping some different Chardonnays for long periods of time and following their evolution. It's a rare one that improved after 4 years, though some held for a long time. I thought the 1976 Prosper Mafoux Chevalier Montrachet was as good at 13 years as at 4.

The ones that surpised me the most were the unoaked or relatively unoaked Chablis. Without all the oak, I figured they wouldn't improve or even hold, but I guess the acidity is responsible for their longevity and improvement.
Even burgundy does not defy aging. I have had 1996 burgundy chablis that was dead in the water and recently a 1998 Beringer private reserve chard that was still kicking. I think alot of it has to do with how the wine was stored and the original amount of acidity in the wine. I prefer them young however on both counts.
Board-O is dead-on; within about 4 years is the proper drinking window for almost all chardonnay.

And I believe that the acidity is the key. I have had Napa chard that was about 6-7 years old and it seems to turn into a butter bomb after five minutes in the glass.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
Good question. I like almost all Chardonnays within 4 years of vintage. I've done experiments in the past keeping some different Chardonnays for long periods of time and following their evolution. It's a rare one that improved after 4 years, though some held for a long time. I thought the 1976 Prosper Mafoux Chevalier Montrachet was as good at 13 years as at 4.

The ones that surpised me the most were the unoaked or relatively unoaked Chablis. Without all the oak, I figured they wouldn't improve or even hold, but I guess the acidity is responsible for their longevity and improvement.


Have you had much experience with Condrieu? Are these wines that evolve with time, or should be consumed within 4 years. I have a Georges Vernay Condrieu 2004 and am not sure when to drink it. I only have one bottle, I couldn't allocate too much room in the suitcase for whites. It is the only white I brought back from my last Rhone visit.
quote:
Originally posted by Roentgen Ray:
Have you had much experience with Condrieu? Are these wines that evolve with time, or should be consumed within 4 years. I have a Georges Vernay Condrieu 2004 and am not sure when to drink it. I only have one bottle, I couldn't allocate too much room in the suitcase for whites. It is the only white I brought back from my last Rhone visit.


It's a big wine, 100% Viognier, I believe. I've only had a few. I don't know anything specifically about the 2004 vintage for whites from the northern Rhone, but I've read it was just average for the reds, and not one to hold. My guess is that your wine would be best consumed over the next year, but it's just my guess. Maybe others with more knowledge on this will chime in.
Thanks for the info Board-O. Most of what I read says drink this wine early. Most of what people told me in France, it can age. I'm not sure where the truth lies, I'm sure it is somewhere in between. Most are best drunk young, but a few go on to have an extended life.
The oldest still delicious chard I ever tasted (about ten years ago) was a 1955 Beaune 1e Cru from Bouchard. A great, ripe vintage, good cellaring and certainly decent vinification. And a bit of luck.

So : it's possible to age chardonnay. But you may not want to do that.

I don't like aged Condrieu. But that's a matter of taste, I'm not very keen on young viognier either. Guess you'll have to taste to know.

Mind, if a French tells you a wine can age, he's probably talking about till next year...
quote:
Originally posted by Rik:
The oldest still delicious chard I ever tasted (about ten years ago) was a 1955 Beaune 1e Cru from Bouchard. A great, ripe vintage, good cellaring and certainly decent vinification. And a bit of luck.

So : it's possible to age chardonnay. But you may not want to do that.

I don't like aged Condrieu. But that's a matter of taste, I'm not very keen on young viognier either. Guess you'll have to taste to know.

Mind, if a French tells you a wine can age, he's probably talking about till next year...


Guess I will try it within the year. I will wait until summer though, I don't get that deep desire for white until it is hot out.
If it is a high volume overoaked California chard, don't age it or better yet - - don't drink it at all.

An authentic white burgundy is probably safe to put some age on it. However, lately there has been some nice Chards being made by French winemakers who have migrated to the USA. If they are producing Chard, trust them and give them a try. Recently tasted a 2002 chardonnay made by French winemaker, Marie-Eve Gilla who is winemaker for Forgeron Cellars in WA state. Of course, it was a light honey color and was just pure nectar on the tongue.

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