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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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maturity, desirable state in a wine when it is consumed. In a sense, the most basic wine designed for early drinking is mature almost as soon as it is bottled, but mature when applied to a wine carries with it the implication that the maturity is the result of a certain amount of bottle ageing. Such a (red) wine is deemed fully mature when it has dispensed with its uncomfortably harsh tannins and acquired maximum complexity of flavour (sometimes described as bouquet) without starting to decay. The period of maturity varies considerably with wine type, but is probably longer than most wine consumers believe. A wine that has been followed since its youth and begins to taste mature may continue to delight, and possibly evolve for the better, for a decade or more. For more details of the process, and of the difference between individual wine types, see ageing. For maturity in grapes, see ripening.