Most wines in France are ready for drinking after being bottled and should be consumed within 4-6 years. Though top chateau wines are meant for laying down and for maturing up to 10 years and more.
How would you know when a wine is ready for drinking? No one knows for sure but it is fine to follow the general rule: it is wiser to drink a wine while it’s maturing towards its peak rather than while it’s on its way of decline.
White wines have a shorter life span and should be drunk within 5 years. Even the best white Burgundy should be kept no more than 10 years. Red wines can last longer (because of the tannin-content). Again as a rule even a Classed Growth Bordeaux should really be consumed within the 10th to the15th year of its vintage. After the 15th year chances are that they would be on their slow decline.
Some believe that the older the wine the better. It is just patented rubbish.
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