Maturity Advice

Knowing the best stage at which to drink your wines is important. We do our best to provide up-to-date information about not only the wines that we are listing, but also those in our customers’ reserves.

Why provide ready for drinking dates?

Different wines mature in different ways. Some are ready to drink almost immediately after bottling and will only drink well for a year or two after that. Some are not at their best until ten years after bottling and will keep for many years beyond. Without detailed knowledge of each individual region, producer, vintage and wine, it is difficult to be sure of when a wine will be drinking well or how long it can be cellared.

As we have tasted every wine that we sell and have years of experience in tasting fine wines at their most youthful and at their most mature, we are able to provide advice on when individual wines should be consumed.

Who provides the ready for drinking information?

Our buying team provides suggested drink dates every time they taste wines. This can be upon return from buying trips abroad to assess wines en primeur or can be at tastings at our offices when more mature examples are tasted.

Changes to ready for drinking dates

We review our drink dates on an annual basis, in light of recent tastings of individual wines. This means that drink dates can be adjusted for wines in our customers’ own reserves and therefore we recommend that you do review your annual stock certificate carefully to ensure that you are aware of any changes that have been made.

What do the drink dates actually mean?

We provide two dates for wines that we sell. These dates indicate the period of time during which we feel the wine will taste its very best. The dates that are set are purely subjective and very much a matter of opinion; they are designed as a guideline rather that a strict rule. The first date is the year from which we believe the wine should be consumed. The last date is the year by which we believe the wine should have been consume.

We also provide a one word description with our drink dates:

  • Leave: Denotes a wine which should be left to mature until the 'from' date shown.
  • Improving: A wine which has matured sufficiently to be drinkable, but where further development is anticipated until the 'plateau' is reached.
  • Ready: A wine which has reached the plateau of maturity and is expected to provide enjoyable drinking up to the 'to' date.