Oenoteque-A wine collection, a depository for bottled wines. The most humane and noble purpose of a person, probably, is to preserve and prolong human life. Similarly wine makers prolong the life of vintage wines, because wine has an infant stage, youth, maturity and old age as well. Most white and rose wines should be consumed young. These wines are not seasoned to keep freshness, delicate aroma and gentle taste in them. In young wine the flavouring features of the fresh vine are shown more strongly. Many wines can be seasoned during a certain time to express strongly the originality of the variety’s properties and the taste features of each type. During storage all the substances of the wine join together into a harmonious single whole and form a diverse mosaic of aromas and taste completeness. During the bottles seasoning wines behave themselves in a completely different way. The limited contact of the wine with oxygen and the presence of various acids allow the occurrence of piquant, spicy aroma in the wine. At collection seasoning there are many complex chemical processes which take place, and as a result, the wine taste and bouquet achieve a special subtlety, cleanliness of taste and delicacy of bouquet. The oenoteques are created in dry, well-ventilated underground basements with a constant temperature between 10-14 degrees Celsius.
Bottled wines must be corked with a cork plug having a length more than usual by 3-5 mm. To prevent the appearance of mould and infection by moth larvae the top of the plug cut is covered by a layer of paraffin-and-wax putty. Bottles are placed in a horizontal position so that the plug is permenently moistened with wine so as to prevent its drying and the penetration of oxygen from the air into the bottle. The wine, in lots, is located in specially prepared compartments named „kazas”. Each wine, in lots, is placed in a separate „kaza” which is furnished with a wooden label precisely inscribed specifying the name of the drink, its manufacturer, type, standards and other data.
The natural processes throughout bottled wine ageing concern the settling of many substances as sediment ( first of all tannic and painting ones). At long-term storage of collection wines on the bottle walls the so-called „shirt” is formed. There is a special treatment for collection wines which always takes place : they are usually examined 1-2 times a year and at early of stages of storage the damaged plugs are replaced if necessary. With time, the bottles become covered with dust and mould. At the stage of wine collection design there is trying to not leave traces on a bottle.
Dry white wines are usually recommended to be stored in the oenoteque about 10-18 years as they contain smaller quantities of tannin and carbolic acids.
For red wines the seasoning term is 20-35 years. Potent and sweet wines do better to age for 25-45 years. Sherries are the old-timers among wines – they can be stored in the collection for more than 100 years.
All the oenothques ( excepting the commercial ones) have scientific objectives: to analyze the chemical components, wine composition and organoleptical features.
The collection wines have historical value. When experienced winemakers taste the collection wines, they can determine the year of the vine harvest, define the particular qualities of the vine-growing area and the wine-making technology. The best collection drinks present an original model for the wine-producing enterprises and scientific organizations at different wine contests.