Do higher alcohol levels in wines impact on cellaring potential and drinking windows? Winemaker Randy Ullon answers our reader's question.

High alcohol wines – ask Decanter

Arne Byberg, Oslo, asks: Do higher alcohol levels in wines impact on cellaring potential and drinking windows?

Randy Ullon, for Decanter, replies: As long as the wines are balances in tannins, fruit, acidity and alcohol, they should have the capacity to age. If any portion is out of balance, a wine’s ageing potential will be reduced The general upper limit of alcohol these days seems to be 15%, with the ‘norm’ about 14.25% to 14.75%. In addition to producing balanced wine, the vineyard source has a major influence on cellaring potential – regions with more sun and elevation will produce wines that can be cellared for many years. As an example, the powerful mountain fruit from California’s Mount Veeder certainly shows that a wine with this new ‘norm’ can last a lifetime.

Randy Ullon is the winemaker for Kendall-Jackson, Jackson Family Wines.

 

 

More questions answered:

 

  • Ahli Anggur

    The alcohol and fruit in, say, a 15% abv Oregon pinot may be in balance at three years, but as the fruit starts to fade, the heat will become more apparent.