After bottling, the reductive stage of maturation begins for still wines without or with very little oxygen. Many producers store higher-quality, mature red wines in particular, but also white wines, in the bottle for up to 12 months or even longer before marketing, which is why we also speak of bottle ageing or bottle refinement. A certain bottle maturity is also prescribed by wine law for individual wines in many countries. In contrast to ageing, which is understood to mean all the changes in a wine up to the "end of its life", bottle ageing tends to include only the positive changes up to the peak. However, there is no clear distinction between the two terms. In connection with the peak of a wine, the term " drinking maturity" is often used, which means the optimal time for enjoyment. This state can, so to speak, already exist before the climax. However, the two terms can also be understood as synonymous, since they are by no means to be understood "as of a specific date" and can extend over a longer period of time, i.e. over several years.
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