Bottled wines age faster, however, bulk storage especially if you are wanting a heavier oaked wine, gives it time to settle into itself a bit more, smoothes it out in my opinion. I don't bother too much with bulk storing whites unless I have run out of bottles.. ( happens frequently)
I know there are long chemical chain reasons for bulk storing.. but I'm not much of a scientist.. one of the others will have to jump in and explain the science behind it for you.
We bottled a Sangio and a Sav Blanc right after they were done about a month ago. These wines we are fermenting now we are planning to age 6 months before drinking. So we were thinking Bulk age for 6 months on SA Shiraz and the Cav Sav and bottle the Cab Franc when secondary is complete....
I bulk aged my cab franc 4 months , then bottled... have still got a merlot that's bulk aging for 6 months. Pinot Noir is my blokes favourite so that gets bottled straight away. Am trying to get ahead of him this year.. I just bottled a chili-apple homemade wine yesterday and that's been bulked about 8 months.. needs another 6 months in the bottle but very drinkable now.
If you will not be drinking them for a while bulk all the reds 6 months and 3 months on the whites. Bulk aging has its benifits. That being constant temp and not having big temps swings. Like Allie said you may want to add some oak.
Just remember that once bottled they should "sit 3-4 weeks min (bottle shock).
Now 1st I would say Oak to YOUR taste. That being said I was never happy with the oak that comes in the kits. "Taste" it. Do you like the taste? if you add oak "taste" again in 2 weeks ..again... Once you know YOUR oak "level" rack off the oak.
Thanks for the insight. I think for now we will taste once we get to the end of the instructions and see where we are at. Part of the problem is we don't know what the "Base" taste is of the wine... once we are familar with the base we would be in a better position to tweak. We didn't taste the oak, we smelled it though and it smelled really good. We liked the Toasted oak best.
For example we topped up the Sangio with water, know that we know how that turns out with the water we topped up the Cab Franc with some Sangio and Cab Sav. We'll see how that turns out. =)