For as long as I can remember since starting this business, people have asked me: can natural wine age?
It's a fair question. Organic and natural wine means either zero sulphites or at least a lower amount of sulphites, which is a historical preservative used to keep wine stable.
Even for our wines we prefer a little bit, to make the journey across the ocean a little easier. But a "little bit" is far from the industrial amounts of preservatives used in supermarket wine, and enough to help a bottle of wine age with maturity and grace.
Case in point: Alice et Olivier De Moor - Chablis 'Rosette' 2007.
A friend of ours recently helped us source just 11 bottles of this wine. He had bought it for himself back in 2011, and aged it quietly as it laid forgotten in his warehouse for four years.
Tonight, I popped open a bottle while cooking with my father, just hopefully expecting that the wine hadn't spoiled over the past 8 years.
I shouldn't have even worried. This was an astounding bottle of Chablis which was made by:
"long alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in old oak. Aged 11 months in old oak. No fining, no filtration or cold stabilization. Slight addition of sulfur dioxide only at the time of bottling. No fining, no filtration or cold stabilization."
As my caption noted, I was really impressed at the purity of this Chardonnay. It really was an exemplary display of terroir and place.
It's also really important to note that Alice & Olivier De Moor are the mentors to our own Thomas Pico of Pattes Loup. Stylistically, they are similar in their combination of concentration and transparency.
Anyone interested in learning more about this estate and Pattes Loup should read this New York Times article about organic producers in Chablis. Most people work mechanically in the region, and when people like Pico and the De Moor's start to work differently, the results are so noticeable.
P.S. As an answer to my somewhat rhetorical question: Yes it can age! And at times with traditional wines like Chardonnay from Chablis, it definitely does need age to display the character of the region.