Pre aged wine? Why is it not a thing?

You know, like whiskeys? Imagine Yellow Tail 12? Colgin 18? Leroy 25? [cheers.gif]

You know anyone with enough money to sit in the expense of 10yrs of production, farming, storage without any revenue? I sure don’t.

1 Like - caveat emptor

A few do wait til the wines are ready to release, but it’s rare. Some will hold some back for later release or library purchase. The market seems to punish this by looking askance at slightly older vintages on the shelves and restaurant lists. “Did this not sell because people know it’s not very good?”

Also, plenty of wineries make wines that are ready on release. The market likes some of those and punishes others nonsensically. Think a broadly complex light red that goes great with food. “Oh, that’s not a serious wine.” So, they pay more for something that’s overly tannic, overpowers and clashes with food, and theoretically will age well, off a restaurant list, because it’s a serious wine.

Anyway, wineries are paying storage and taxes on wine in their inventory, whether bottled or in barrel. They get cash flow if they release it.

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sounds like you need more Sherry and Rioja in your life!

It used to be more common going back in time, especially in Rioja, where wines would be stored in large barrels for multiple years, then released, possibly after a little more time in bottle until they were happy to release it. As Wes mentions, once it’s in bottle, wineries want to get their investment back, so it’s released to the market for them to age.

Some interesting modern day wines that are held back

  • Grato Grati in Tuscany, Italy. The current release available locally is 1998 vintage, and I think the 20+ years before release is common with them
  • Vin Santo / Vino Santo. This is a little bit of a cheat, as the delay in release is because the process to make these wines is very elongated, in a similar way to balsamic vinegar, where the wine ages in (progressively smaller IIRC) barrels for multiple years (up to 10 IIRC)
  • Chateau Musar. This could have included a number of different producers, who typically release 4-6 years after vintage, but I mention them as they’ve not been afraid to hold a vintage back if they think it’s not ready (I think the 2006 was the most recent of these, released well over a decade from vintage)
  • Borgogno (and many others including Chateau Musar) hold a small portion of the wines back to release later onto the market, this often being referred to as a ‘library release’
  • Finally, and perhaps most impressively, is the Australian fortified wine ‘Para’ which still continues an old tradition of releasing the wine at exactly 100 years old. It’s an amazing concept.

Here you go:

p.s. Loved the idea of a [Yellow Tail] 12, in the immortal words of Monty Python
“This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding”

I consider Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello - (Riserva or not) as being pre-aged.

I thought that’s what auctions are for.

More wineries who regularly release wines long past what is required or typical for their appellations:

Kalin Cellars, Emidio Pepe, Defaix, San Fereolo, Calabretta.

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Wanna spell this out? We are in Wine 101 over here.

Vin Doux Naturel
(Maury, Banyuls, Rivesaltes…)

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Indeed that is very much worth a mention, as for us wine drinkers, auctions can be a place for us to buy wine that someone else has already aged. It’s not for the naive or unwary (buyer beware for sure), but there are also some wonderful wines and wonderful bargains in the auction scene if you have your wits about you and are happy to spread your net wide.


Francis Ford Coppola did this with Rubicon, essentially holding the wine for 7 years before release. Terry Leighton and Kalin?

Rioja was the first thing that came to mind for me. From the US, current (recent) release on some Tercero reds is 2014.