info@cru-wine.com | +44 203 925 4526

wine bottles

Your Guide to Wine—How to Spot a Really Good Vintage

There are many different types of wine, but what makes a good wine? This question has been debated for centuries, but some general characteristics are generally agreed upon. 

Good wine is well-balanced, with neither too much acidity nor too much sweetness. It should have a pleasing aroma and a smooth, elegant flavour. It should also be well-structured, with a good mouthfeel and a long finish. 

Of course, what makes a good wine is ultimately a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer a fruity wine, while others prefer a more earthy wine. Ultimately, the best way to find out what you like is to try different types of wine and see what you enjoy most.

That said, there is a difference between good wine and wine that’s good enough to invest in. Today, let’s explore that further! Here’s what you need to know:

How to Identify Good Vintage Wine

When it comes to wine, the term “vintage” refers to the year the grapes were harvested. A wine’s vintage is essential because it indicates the wine’s quality. The weather during the growing season, as well as the overall health of the vines, can impact the grapes and, ultimately, the wine.

That said, not all wines improve with age. In general, red wines are better suited for ageing than white wines. But, even among red wines, some varietals are better suited for ageing than others. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all excellent choices for ageing.

Look at the Year

The first step in identifying a good vintage wine is to look at the year. Generally, wines from warmer years are better suited for ageing than wines from cooler years. This is because the warmer weather allows the grapes to ripen more evenly, resulting in a more balanced wine. Additionally, warmer weather can lead to higher sugar levels in the grapes, resulting in a sweeter wine.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, some red wines benefit from being made in cooler years. Pinot Noir is one such varietal. Wines made from Pinot Noir grapes that were harvested in cooler years tend to be lighter and more delicate than those made from grapes harvested in warmer years.

Check the Region

In addition to the year, you should also check the region where the wine was produced. This is because different regions are better suited for growing certain varietals of grapes. For example, Bordeaux is known for producing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon wines, while Burgundy is known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir wines.

Additionally, some regions are better suited for growing grapes than others. For example, California’s climate is generally considered ideal for grape-growing. As a result, California wines tend to be of high quality across all varietals.

Check the Winery’s Reputation

When it comes to vintage wine, the winery’s reputation can be just as important as the vintage itself. This is because some wineries have a history of producing consistently high-quality wines, regardless of the vintage. For example, Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Margaux are both well-known for producing exceptional Bordeaux wines year after year.

Of course, not all reputable wineries produce only high-quality wines. There are always exceptions to any rule, so be mindful of that.

What to Consider When Tasting Wine

Clarity

As you know, wine is made by fermenting grape juice. During this process, sediments can make the wine appear cloudy. A few factors affect the clarity of the wine and thus its quality.

The first factor is the type of grape used. Some grapes, such as Pinot Noir, are more prone to producing sediments than others. The second factor is the winemaking process itself. If the wine is not properly filtered, sediments can remain in the final product. Finally, storage conditions can also affect clarity. If a wine is not stored in a cool, dark place, it may develop sediments over time.

Colour

Wine quality is a complex and often subjective topic. Many factors can affect the quality of a wine, from the grape variety and terroir to the winemaking process itself. One of the most important visual cues of wine quality is colour. In this blog, we’ll explore how colour can indicate wine quality and what factors affect a wine’s colour.

The colour of a wine can give us clues about its age, grape variety, and even the winemaking process. Young, white wines are usually pale in colour, while older white wines may have a more golden hue. Red wines get darker with age, moving from a light “strawberry” colour to a deeper ruby or black. The colour of a wine can also give us clues about its grape variety. For example, Pinot Noir wines are typically a very light red, while Cabernet Sauvignon wines are much deeper in colour.

Aroma

Aroma is the most important factor in wine quality because it is the first thing you notice when you taste a wine. The aroma of a wine can be affected by many factors, including the grape variety, the terroir, the winemaking process, and the ageing process.

The grape variety is the most important factor in determining the aroma of a wine. Each grape variety has its characteristic aromas. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are known for their aromas of blackcurrant, while Chardonnay wines are known for their aromas of citrus and stone fruits.

The terroir, or the environment in which the grapes are grown, can also affect the aroma of a wine. The climate, soil, and topography of a region can all contribute to the unique aromas of a wine. For example, wines from the cool climate of Burgundy are known for their aromas of red fruits, while wines from the warm climate of Bordeaux are known for their aromas of black fruits.

The winemaking process can also affect the aroma of a wine. For example, oak barrels can impart vanilla and spices aromas to a wine. As wine ages, its aromas can become more complex and nuanced.

The Bottom Line

Many factors go into identifying a high-quality wine. However, by understanding the basics of wine tasting and having a keen eye, you can usually tell if a wine is of high quality or not. 

To start, always look at the wine’s colour and clarity. It should be clear and have a deep, rich colour. Next, smell the wine. You should find a pleasant aroma with no off-putting smells. Finally, taste the wine. It should be well-balanced, have a smooth texture, and have a long finish. By keeping these things in mind, you can start to identify high-quality wines.

If you’re interested in buying wine for investment, we can help you. Cru Wine offers fine wine with a modern approach. Wine is a passion and a huge source of enjoyment. Our goal is to make it easier to buy wine. At the same time, we wish to provide you with a more enriched experience. Download our fine wine investment brochure today to learn more!

Cru Wine Ltd.

Registered company 08579498. Cru Wine Limited, 109 Hammersmith Road, London, United Kingdom, W14 0QH. VAT Number: GB180547111. All rights reserved.