The ideal cellar would be between 12
and 14°C (53 57 °F). Indeed, there should not be
significant variations of temperatures from one season to another;
it is catastrophic to find a cellar reaching 25°C the summer
and 5°C the winter! The aging of the wine would be excessively
accelerated. The principal enemies of the proper aging of the
wine are the temperature and the light.
Which year and which appellation to choose?
The great vintages cclaimed by the press are always years for patience : they require you to wait to drink them as well as having a cellar adapted to preserve them. Often, the consumer can be disappointed if such a wine is opened too early.
The good vintage is that which is appropriate to you. If you have the possibility of cellaring it a long time and under good conditions, it is preferable to choose good years. Less celebrated years, provided that they are made by an experienced winemaker who respects the terroir and year, will provide a wine to you, perhaps not requiring long cellaring, but which will be able to be enjoyed earlier. The ideal cellar comprises bottles for long-term cellaring as well as those for immediate drinking. Moreover, there has been much progress in the science of the vine, oenology, in the last few years. The differences between great and merely good although correctly vinified years tend to be fewer. Just as great names have a place of choice in the cellar, more modest wines are necessary for less prestigious occasions.
Traditionally, our regional appellations are cellared between 3 and 6 years; communal (or village) appellations, which are more tannic and concentrated, between 3 and 10 years; finally our premier crus and grand crus should not be opened before at least 5 years in the bottle. Certain great vintage can age 20 years or more. The capacity of aging is closely related to the characteristics of the year.