Perhaps one of the most “mystifying” aspects of wine appreciation is the ability to predict the aging capacity of a wine. The single most asked question at any of my wine tasting seminars or classes is: How do you know that a wine will age for a specific period time?
The easiest answer is that you don’t really know. There is no precise way of telling the aging capacity of a wine, instead it is a “best guess” scenario based on one’s ability to analyze the clues found in tasting a wine.
The aging capacity of a wine is influenced by a number of factors, including the amount of tannin, acid, fruit and alcohol present in the wine, as well as the size and fill of the bottle and the storage conditions of the wine.
Through tasting, one can assess the first three components. Careful inspection will establish the next two criteria. The true history of the last criteria will be the hardest to uncover, although from the point in time when the bottle is under your control, one will be able to influence this last aspect the most.