So why do we need to age bold red wines?
Through the grape and the wine-making process, bold red wines such as Cabernet contain a high amount of tannins. Tannins have a bitter after taste which also solicits the pucker sensation in the mouth and back of the throat, not unlike the sensation when eating a green banana. When wine is aged in a properly climate-controlled cellar of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the tannins progressively break down or “soften.” However, too much aging is also not a good thing because the desirable flavors such as fruits also decrease with age. So wine aging is a delicate balance between softening the impacts of tannins while maintaining the core desirable flavors of the wine. When a particular vintage is said to be good, the wine is suitable for longer cellaring because the wine flavors are more intense and can bear a longer cellaring period.
The best vintages can be cellared ten, twenty, or even longer periods and maintain their core desirable flavors while diminishing the impacts of tannins to almost none. I highly recommend every wine drinker to find a way to taste a properly aged bottle of red wine. The difference is dramatic.