I was very surprised to learn about this "muted phase." While I have noticed some younger Rieslings to be muted, I thought it was due to that particular wine, not part of a pattern of Riesling in general. I know some wines go through awkward phases, but I didn't realize Riesling did this. With my limited exeperience, I just assumed Riesling aged a bit linearly, going from more acidic and primary fruit notes, to more integrated fruit and sweet/honeyed/candied notes, and eventually developing more tertiary notes.Fruity [Rieslings] typically go through the following phases (here on the example of Spätlese / Auslese):
- Primary Youth Phase: for up to two years, the wines burst with primary fruit and can be a joy to drink and taste the essence of the grape.
- Muted Phase: Mosel wines have a tendency to close down after 1-3 years after the vintage. During this period, the wines do not show much beyond vague notes
of citrus, a touch of hay and, in extreme cases, even a touch of caramel.
- Fruit Phase: at around 8-15 years old, the wines start to open up again and show their full primary fruit, but nicely integrated.
- Terroir Phase: at around 15-25 years of age, the wines still show some fruitiness but the sweetness has receded and blended into the flavors of the wine.
- Mystic Phase: at over 25 years of age, the wines tend to develop their own dynamics: Differences between terroirs disappear (to an extent) and tertiary flavors kick in, with notes of marzipan, candied fruit, etc.
What is your personal experience with aging Riesling? Does it seem to follow the information above? This year, I've been loving all of the 2015s I could get my hands on, but should I be getting ready to throw them in the cellar and forget about them (I have to admit, I'm a sucker fur young, acidic Rieslings)?
I'm interested to hear your thoughts. Thank you!