Not something I’m particularly conscious of having experienced first hand, but I’ve noticed increasing mention, over the past few weeks on the community, of the possibility of wines “shutting down” or being in their “closed phase”, so curious to learn more objectively about this.
Many of us pay attention to drinking windows; some wines drink well young, and then quickly fade. Some don’t and need to slumber for years or sometimes decades…and then we hope they’re not past their best when we crack them open. It’s a bit of an article of faith.
And if they’re a bit “mweh”, we let them breathe for a bit and they come around. Or they don’t, and we put it down to experience; maybe our palate was having an off day; maybe it was never going to be an improvement on the barrel sample, but after thirty years “hey ho” it’s past its peak.
This peculiarity, however, seems to be more about wines that are fresh and vibrant in their infancy, before a period of “hibernation” during which time they are grumpy, unresponsive and monosyllabic. And no amount of persuasive aerobics will stir them from their torpor. Finally, though, they emerge from their silicate chrysalis fully developed, resplendent and basking in all their (potential) glory. Pure nectar!
Experiencing wine is such a subjective thing and creates such a wonderful wealth of anecdotes, but I’d be grateful if anyone can point at any empirical studies that have been undertaken to really explore the science behind this phenomenon - to help understand the why, the what, the how, and the when?
Or is there an MW out (t)here who can demystify this for me please?