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Dear Dr. Vinny,
How long can you store Chardonnay and have it drinkable? Five years or less?
Most wines, red or white, are made to drink well upon release and are best enjoyed while still young and fresh, so I would agree with your “five years or less” assessment. But some of the best Chardonnays in the world (white Burgundy and others) can age for a decade or more. An older Chardonnay will taste different from its younger self, as secondary notes of spice, nuts and earth will come into play and some of the fresh fruitiness will fade.
Even more than with red wines, good cellar conditions are critical for whites if they are to age well. A white wine exposed to heat or fluctuating temperatures is not going to age well at all.
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