The Cellaring Guide is for a 'standard cellar' at 12°C (54°F). Warmer and fluctuating temperatures will age wine more rapidly and may not be as beneficial to the less robust wines and varietals. In our experience the 'robustness' of wines is likely to be in the order: Cabernet and blends > Sauvignon blanc > Syrah > Riesling > Pinot gris and Chardonnay > Pinot noir and Gewurztraminer.
Wines high in extract will tend to mature more slowly than the 'average same varietal' on this list. If you have a number of our wines and your cellar conditions are not similar to our 'standard cellar', you will no doubt learn how to interpret the chart in relation to your own conditions. However, a more active approach to evaluating your cellar is to note temperatures for the range of the days, between weeks and between seasons, by leaving a thermometer in a large jar of water in your cellar. It is not sufficient to observe that the cellar 'always feels cool' - such feelings are relative only to outside conditions.
Significant fluctuations in daily or weekly temperatures tend to add to the speed of ageing commented on below, and may also increase the incidence of leakers and seepers, occasionally give examples of ATA (atypical ageing - see Dictionary of Wine Tasting, Aromas-Unpleasant) and disproportionately fast ageing for laccase-containing wines (ie. those with potential or actual botrytis). Vibration and direct light on the wine are damaging influences which should also be avoided.