Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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To the untutored taster, older red wines seem to be softer and gentler than harsh, inky young ones. Those who notice such things will also observe a change in colour, typically from deep purple to light brick red. There should also be more sediment in an old wine than a young one. All these phenomena are related, and are related in particular to the behaviour of phenolics, the compounds of the grape, particularly the skins, including the blue/red anthocyanins which together with the astringent but colourless flavonoids form the pigmented tannins (tannin-anthocyanin complexes) that are responsible for a red wine’s colour and texture.