Wines that reward aging rarely undergo the transformation from youth to maturity with complete grace. Sometimes the transition can be downright ugly; for a time, like a caterpillar encased in a cocoon, the wine can seem shut-down, or closed. This phase of wine development is generally, if unscientifically, known as the "dumb period."
For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands May 15, 2004.
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