> I have been making wine from Grand Cru and Cru Select kits for about a year
> and have had very satisfying results. I make both reds and whites. So far
> I have always bottled as soon as possible and let the wine age in bottles.
> Tonight I had a discussion with a friend and we were wondering whether or
> not it would be more advantageous to age in the carboy for a time. Should
> the sediment (lees) be left in the carboy? For how long before racking and
> filtering? Is it the same for reds and whites?
> If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.
As JDC said, it will age quicker when stored in bulk. You probably won't
want to leave it sit on the lees for too long, as autolysis will occur
(the live yeast cells start feeding on the dead yeast cells). That is,
unless you want a blanc sur lie style wine, which is intentionally made
this way and isn't racked at all between primary fermentation and
bottling. It has a characteristic aroma from the autolysis, retains a
very fruity aroma, and is slightly sparkling. I believe this is the way
in which Vouvray is made, but I could be mistaken about that.
I've known people to age wine in carboys, without racking, for almost
10 years, and the autolysis adds a sort of musty aroma and taste which I
think is pleasant, but too much of which tends to overpower the wine's
At least that's been my experience.