Question about aging a wine

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pkirtani

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Hi,

I am new to winemaking and in the process of making few kinds by following recipes I found in book.
The raspberry wine I made is quite clear ( after a couple of rackings and a month in the secondary carboy).. the same is happening to the Thompson grape I made 3 weeks back.
My question is: What is the advantage of aging the wine for another 1,2 or 3 months... there is no residue in the raspberry wine and the 2nd one is turning out to be good as well.
Does aging impart flavour to the wine that I would miss if I bottled and consumed it now?
Can someone shed light on advantages of aging apart from having a more clear wine.
** I know that protein settles down after a while.. but can I achieve the same result by using a clarifier?

Thanks,
-Prasanna
 

Smok1

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I usually let my fruit wines sit in a carboy for 3-4 months before bottling but i know my wife has told me that the taste definitly changes with time and according to her taste not all for the better, the blueberry and tripleberry seems to be better early drinkers and seem to lose something as time goes on, i age all my red wines though
 

NorCal

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I didn't think much about aging wines, until I tasted a year old Skeeter Pee. So, if that can improve with time, anything can.
 

LoveTheWine

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Aging naturally de-gasses the wine and clears it. Even though it looks clear, there is still yeast and other particulates that settle out. A third thing that happens, is that rough alcohol flavors smooth out (although this would happen in the bottle as well).
 

Jasper24

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I like to bottle as early as possible and than hold off drinking for some time to allow the flavor to mellow.

You are right you can clarity and get the same results. I use plastic carboys and that is why I get in in the bottle early. Plus bottling early allows me to make more wine. Hope this helps
 

pkirtani

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Thanks everyone for the answers. this had surely helped me. I am going to bottle the raspberry wine and others as they clear up.
 

tjgaul

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Age is age, whether in a bottle or a carboy. I've only been doing this for a little over a year and I am really amazed at the transformation my early batches have gone through now that they are over a year old. There's nothing wrong with bottling early except that you lose the opportunity to tweak the batch later on in its life.

I would definitely recommend holding on to a bottle or two and letting them sit a while to see what time does to them.

Enjoy
 

Scooter68

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Many wines will produce sediment well after the lees from fermentation are gone. Even with the perfectly balanced wine, there is that potential for a temperature shift, or changes in chemistry for a wine to produce some sediment. If that happens while bulk aging, so what, it's filtered out or left behind in the process of racking.

Once bottled, it's going to be there when the bottle is opened or given away to someone. Who wants to try to explain that to a friend when you give them the bottle or when you are pouring the wine?

Yes, aging can be done either in bulk or in the bottle, but bulk aging has more than just one advantage.
 

Jasper24

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Scooter68 is right in that regard. I bottled a watermelon wine that produced sediment after running though a filter and bottling. I am seriously thinking about unbottleing the whole batch running though a filter again and rebottleing. It's quite annoying. The thought of giving it away like that makes my head hurt.
 

WineYooper

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Bulk ageing helps let more gas out over time and more clearing to take place. My cranberry is a fine example of sediment dropping over time, batches that I thought looked good in bulk have too many deposits in the bottle for my taste, looks actually, doesn't affect taste I've found but bottle look isn't great, this after couple years. If you have a degasser they would clear faster, or stir like crazy till you don't produce foam will help clear as well.
 

meadmaker1

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Drink it if you like it but save some for latter.
You will most likly discover the answer to your question.
 

FTC Wines

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Prime example! Last night we had a3 yr old bottle of our " House Cab". It's an inexpensive Cab concentrate from Home Winery. We hid a few bottles of our early drinkers away, WOW, what a difference, couldn't believe the difference. It spent 9 months in carboy, rest in bottle at 58* Roy
 

CabSauv

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Aging in the bottle is not the same as aging in the carboy in my opinion. I'm new to making wine but it's pretty easy to see the logic in aging in a carboy rather than in the bottle. You get much better clearing and removal of sediment, and there's a more favorable ratio of wine to headspace in a carboy compared to wine to headspace in individual bottles. In the carboy you have time to let things settle and let the wine balance out both visually and chemically, and most importantly allows for tweaks before bottling. Sure you can age it in the bottle but in my opinion only a finished product should go in the bottle because when you age in the carboy you're aging for a different purpose than when you age in the bottle.
 

Floandgary

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IF you have the equipment and IF you have the patience you will be happy with the results of bulk aging. I keep my REDS under wraps for at least 12 months. Whites (with a few exceptions) rarely benefit from much more than 4 months of bulk treatment,, clarification being the main benny.. If it's in the bottle, it's all too easy to pop the cork and pour
 

Scooter68

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The key is that aging wine allows you to get rid of a variety of undesirable traits of a "new wine." Things such as "bite" (Caused by both CO2 and other elements) and sediment are the most noticeable things. Doing this in bulk is of course the only way to get rid of the sediment as you leave that stuff behind when you rack your wine to a carboy. It doesn't end up sitting at the bottom of your wine bottle where your guests will look and wonder - What is he giving me?

Certainly you can drink your 'new wine' but the voices you will keep hearing on this board are going to tell you that a wine less than 6 months old, is very harsh, bitter perhaps and lacking the smoothness of a well aged wine. In fact if you made two batches with the same fruit in the exact same way with the same temperatures ... exactly the same AND you make those two batches 9 months apart - THEN try the newer wine at 3 months and the other at 12 months age... It will be like two different wines - completely different in character. The new will be 'drinkable' the older "enjoyable"
 

CabSauv

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^^Yes! That last line should be a trademark Scoot! And to add to that, I literally had that experience myself. I was going to bulk age my wine either way but I tasted it after all steps were done and according to the directions "was ready to bottle" and I was astonished at how unrefined and harsh it tasted. I was disappointed and was grasping for answers and "quick fixes". After reassurance from the great folks on this forum, I opted to just be patient and age it (which I was going to do already).

After letting it sit for just 3 months and taste testing again after the first rack during the aging cycle it was a completely different wine. I mean completely. It was smooth, no harsh bite, and the legs and clarity were amazing. It went from being comparable to an $8 bottle of wine to being comparable to a $20-$30 bottle of wine (in my opinion). Point being, bulk aging alone will fix a LOT.
 
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