Our wines are not fragile. They keep very well without any particular precaution. But excessive summer temperatures should not last too long. If this is the case, drink them rather young without waiting too long.
Some vintages are deliberately vinified to be drunk in their youth, which can last quite a long time, say up to 5 years, in order to enjoy the fruit flavours in the mouth. This type of aroma declines anyway with time, replaced by other so-called “evolutionary” aromas.
These cuvées are in order, in red, “La Guerre des Boutons”, “Au Bonheur des Dames” and “Les Petites Mains”. Frou-Frou, our rosé is also very good in its youth, but a few months of maturing make all the difference. These young wines are by no means “primeur” wines, and can be kept for several years without any problem.
Other cuvées are clearly made for ageing, partly matured in wood, and as far as possible kept for a few years in bottle on the estate before being marketed. The ageing of wines, apart from the fact that it requires an irreproachable quality of grapes at the beginning, is a complex phenomenon and undoubtedly not linear: the wine does not get “better” as time goes by. It goes through phases. So keeping them for as long as possible, hoping for the best, is definitely not the right solution: you have to open and drink these bottles without fear. One can indeed have very great wines before 10 years of ageing. This has happened several times for Couture, but also for Petites Mains. The mouthfeel becomes perfect although still very young and firm. Then, the wine continues its way towards maturity and old age which is not necessarily the decline.
We have been keeping all the vintages for more than 20 years, and open them regularly. Never yet has a bottle failed, which bodes well for at least 30 years of ageing potential for Couture and Petites Mains. If you wish to embark on this adventure of hunting for great wines, prefer to store them in magnum. This is an established fact that we have been able to verify on our wines.
Who says adventure, says of course surprises, because in wine the mass is far from being said. The cuvée “Au Bonheur des Dames” has sometimes enchanted us by its level after 10 or 15 years of ageing, with a full and perfect envelope in the mouth, powerful and subtle aromas, but also a fragility caused by the opening and oxygenation: decanting is forbidden, and to be drunk as soon as opened.
We will try to share these experiences with you, so that you can orient yourself if you keep certain bottles. Do not hesitate to ask us, so that we can advise you about one of your bottles.