Should Saint-Emilion wine be decanted?
Here are our tips on decanting, so as to not get it wrong!
Well, it depends on the wine! A young Saint-Emilion wine, powerful and tannic will need to be decanted into a carafe. A more matured Saint-Emilion wine, sensitive to oxidation, must have a milder contact with air. Here are our tips on decanting, so as to not get it wrong!
Young or old Saint-Emilion wine?
Before decanting, you must look at the label. What vintage is it? This is important because depending on the year the guidelines are completely different. Currently, Saint-Emilion wines from 2009 onward are considered young. As far as the more matured Saint-Emilion wine is concerned, the vintages list stops at 2007. The 2008 wines are a bit apart because they already have sophisticated flavors with a young wine structure. They need aeration but be careful because the flavors are quite volatile. Our advice: decant 2008 vintages half hour before drinking, just to round off the tannins!
How long before tasting do I decant?
And for other vintages? A young Saint-Emilion wine, powerful and tannic, needs oxygenation to round off its tannins. The contact with air also allows it to open up the range of its aromas. Feel free to taste the wine to estimate how long it needs to be open for and decant it accordingly before serving. On the other hand, a matured wine is decanted at the last minute, only if you see the deposit at the bottom of the bottle. If there is no deposit, then is not worth it. A matured wine decanted in advance would oxidize rapidly and lose all its flavors. This would "break" the wine!
What type of decanter to choose?
There are several types of decanter. The more the decanter is open, the more it is intended for a young wine. For these wines, choose a glass decanter. Its fairly wide opening allows faster oxygenation. For matured Saint-Emilion wines, opt for decanters with a tiny opening or with a stopper. That way, whatever the vintage, you can fully enjoy all the flavors of the Saint-Emilion, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Lussac Saint-Emilion and Puisseguin Saint-Emilion appellations wines.
Do you have tips to decant Saint-Emilion wines? Share them with us!