Flavours of Maturity

Flavours of Maturity

The flavours of maturity can be experienced across any style of wine that is capable of aging from full bodied reds, through to textural whites. It is great to taste a wine at various stages of its life to see how a wine evolves and decide which level of maturity you enjoy. This will ultimately help to determine, if laying a wine down, how long you want to cellar it for, although it may vary from vintage to vintage.

Shiraz has great aging potential, whether it’s the peppery, cool climate styles found in places like Tasmania or the powerful, fruit forward wines of the warmer McLaren Vale or Barossa. Shiraz can develop many flavours as it ages, becoming gamey, chocolatey and earthy. Aromas of leather or tobacco can evolve and the trademark pepper spice of Shiraz can turn into flavours of sweet spice, cinnamon and clove combining with fig and prune fruit. For classic chocolatey, game flavours of mature Shiraz, it is best to look to the warmer regions. Try the earlier vintages of Kay Brothers Amery Shiraz in 2001, 2003 or 2004 or Shirvington Estate for great examples from McLaren Vale. Barossa can produce Shiraz with richer fruit that remains succulent in maturity, with classic saddle leather and tobacco aromas. Wild Duck Springflat demonstrates the fig and prune flavours that can also develop in the warm Heathcote climate and amongst many others, also try the Deer In Headlights by Two Hands or show how great concentration and rich fruit that Barossa wines can still hold after years in bottle.

Cabernet Sauvignon is probably known to have the best cellaring potential and with age develops interesting flavours of menthol, most notably in Coonawarra but these aromas along with liquorice and herbal notes can be experienced in mature Cabernet from McLaren Vale. Another typical aroma of mature Cabernet is graphite, often described as pencil lead which can be typical of the wines from the northern Medoc but can be experienced in the Kay Brothers Amery Cabernet Sauvignons 2003 and 2004. Also look to Shirvington Estate for a richer style of fruit development or mature Henschke for flavours of liquorice or black olive as well.

It is not only red wines that can mature, but many white wines are very capable of aging and developing complex flavours. Chardonnay can develop nutty, developing flavours of almond and hazelnut as it evolves, Sauvignon can become tropical with flavours of passionfruit, its natural citrus character also concentrates to become zest like, especially when blended with Semillon. Try the Flowstone Sauvignon 2011, Suckfizzle Sauvignon/Semillon and white Bordeaux such as Chateau Fieuzal for great examples of how Sauvignon can age. Riesling is quite unique, developing distinct petrol aromas as well as honey and marmalade. Try Pegasus Bay or Dry River mature Rieslings.

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