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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I recently opened a bottle of Peter Michael Chardonnay Belle Cote 2002. The wine tasted all right, but was cloudy and had sediment that failed to clear over time. Should it have been decanted or filtered before serving? What is the best way to serve older Chardonnay?

—Marc C., Detroit

Dear Marc,

I know plenty of people who decant older wines to aerate them. But I believe your wine was cloudy not because of sediment from aging, but because the wine was bottled unfiltered. Some vintners prefer to bottle their wines without removing the tiny particles they believe enhance a wine’s color and flavors, and these particles are often too small to be removed by the decanting process. Keep in mind that cloudiness per se isn’t a flaw, and it shouldn’t impact the flavors in a negative way.

—Dr. Vinny

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