Large format aging

Hey everyone!

This is my first post! Excited to learn more about wine and to discuss with others.

I just completed a small cellar in my house and have started collecting bottles to age. I made sure in included champagne and magnum racking in the cellar! Smile

My question is about the aging of larger bottles. I know why they age longer, but what is the math to figure it out? I use cellar tracker to view how long to age my wine, but that only gives you the aging of a 750 ml bottle. So what about magnums or double magnums?

Thanks
Original Post
Welcome, Fowler. As far as I know, there is no scientific answer. A magnum will not live twice as long as a 750. Most of my experience with double magnums and imperials is with Bordeaux. If a Bordeaux is pretty much at its prime from a 750, you might get 2 or 3 more years from a magnum, another couple more from a double magnum, and maybe another 4 or so from an Imperial. This is all anectdotal. As far as I know, there is scientific formula, just experience.
Good luck. I'll give you a quickie about an offline 10 years ago. I brought a 750 and an Imperial (6 liters) of 1979 Chateau Leoville Las Cases. 1979 was a realtively early drinking vintage, though not excessively so. Everybody loved both, but the concensus was that the wine from the Imperial was better, though I suspect the romance of the Imperial may have played into that determination since the wines were not served blind. The Imperial, I thought, tasted a little younger, but both were outstanding and seemed ready.

I'm surprised nobody else has chimed in with an answer to your question. It's a good one.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I'm surprised nobody else has chimed in with an answer to your question. It's a good one.

It is a good question. But I believe no one has chimed in to add to your overall answer in your post above, Board-O.

Besides the fact that experience alone has proven that the magnum is a preferred format in which to age wine, I've never read any 'specific' data (or mathematical equation) outlining the correlated science behind it(in a manner that would allow accurate predictability of the aging variance between the various formats.
I know I for one rarely check this thread, so perhaps others also do not visit the Learn Wine thread often.

I do not have much to add to the above post, but I do feel that Champagne ages and seems to show very well in a magnum format the vast majority of the time.
The longer age-ability of large formats, I belive, has to do with a much lower air-to-wine ratio.

With that said, large formats can be a great addition to a dinner or social gathering. However, if you're only ageing large formats, be careful. The only reason I say that is that corkage rate, I would assume, is consistent with 750s and large formats. I'd much rather buy two 750s, have one be bad and one good, than only one magnum, and have it be bad. Does that even make sense? I certainly age some magnums, but I'd recommend you buy a few 750s in addition so as to minimize your opportunity for disappointment.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I know I for one rarely check this thread, so perhaps others also do not visit the Learn Wine thread often.


I'm the same way. I often come across things here way after they're posted. I think this bandwidth could be used more productively. MTH, perhaps? Devilish Razz

I think Board-O's answer was a good one, and I concur with BRR on the magnum issue. I now only own 3.

PH
I think a great idea is to buy the same wine from several different formats. I've done that many times. It's a great learning experience. I bought 1979 Margaux from 750, mags, and double mags, skipping the Imperials on that one, thankfully. Do this several times and open them together and do your own comparisons. Ideally, have some help so you can taste them blind. I've never done that blind, but I should have.

By the way, if this site had a Post of the Month, I'd nomintae Fowler's first post in this thread. This really is about learning wine.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
I think Board-O's answer was a good one, and I concur with BRR on the magnum issue. I now only own 3.

PH

I love magnum size for aging. While I have almost 40 sitting in the cellar I don't pick this format up much these days.

Another long-aging mentality that I don't follow so often nowadays Smile

Hey you kids! Get off the lawn! Big Grin
The only thing I have to add is that there's some thinking that by aging more slowly, the wine ages differently. I don't know if the assumption is true so I don't know if the conclusion follows. Most of what you find is anecdotal evidence.

There's certainly no mathematical formula for calculating the difference any more than there is for calculating aging potential in the first place.

And to the OP specifically - CT can be a great resource, but it doesn't tell you how long to age a 750. It gives you people's suggestions, which may be right or may be completely off base. You only find out by doing it and figuring out at what point you like the wine. BTW, I assume you know what you're getting into because if you haven't had a lot of aged wine, you should try some before investing the time and money.

Best of luck. As the others have said - good question.

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