Definition - What does Closed mean?

Closed is a wine tasting term used to describe wines that have very little aromas or flavors, but have the potential to be full of character. The term is most often used for young, underdeveloped wines that require aging in order to "open up" the aromas and flavors. The term itself is similar to "backward"; a closed wine will hint at the great qualities the wine could have, without actually providing them.

WineFrog explains Closed

After a wine has been fermented and bottled, it starts aging. The bottles rest in the cellar until the wine has opened up and revealed the true qualities and characteristics that the winemaker intended when he or she made it. Until that moment, when the wine is at its peak, it goes through different stages, the first of which is "closed".

Young wines often close up about 12 - 18 months after bottling, depending on the vintage and varietal. A closed wine is less aromatic - the nose can seem dull and uninviting - and less flavorful - it can be tannic and bitter without any of the balancing qualities like fruit, acidity and more.

All types of wines - red, white, rosé - can go through a "closed" phase, though it is most common for red wines, since whites and rosés aren’t usually intended to age. Aging isn’t the only way to open up a closed wine; aerating it will also help to reveal the flavors and characteristics, albeit not in the most opportune way. The wine will still be young and off-balanced, so it is best to age closed wines until they open up naturally.

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