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Cool I'm just learning as well, and I have found, especially in the last year, that I've become more discerning. I'm opening myself up to a much wider range of wines (however, I prefer reds) and I'm having a ball. I'm learning that there is a 'tighter' mouth feel to younger wines. Just taste ALOT of wines and, as I'm counting on for myself as well, it will come... Wink
Errmm... I think WIML summed it up.

I was going to put in some cock and bull story that was wildly difficult to understand, lacking any sense, structure or basis in fact, but decided to leave that to my tasting notes again.

I do some experimenting like holding (admittedly cheaper) wines well past their drink-by dates to get an understanding of dead wines, or alternatively gaining an unexpectedly good experience. I will also drink a bottle from a case well before its time to practice my gurning expressions with.

You could always ask people that know better - it's worth a try.
For me, a wine is worthy of laying down if all the key ingredients are there in good abundance: acidity, tannins, alcohol and flavor. Often, when you detect that one or more of these ingredients is too dominant, you may want to lay the bottle down so the ingredients harmonize over time. But if there's lots and lots of fruit and no tannins, forget about laying down. Drink it now. Conversely, if there's huge tannins and not much fruit, then it's a crap shoot - the tannins will soften, likely, but is there fruit there to come forward over time? There's where the experience is needed, IMHO.

And if there's huge tannins, huge fruit and no acidity, again for me it's a crap shoot and a matter of taste. Probably a good bet to drink early as it won't get much better. No need to lay down to soften the tannins, just decant it for a couple of hours.

But no words can substitute for experience and personal preference.
Thanks, everybody! I'm working on it!! Love all the experimentation!! Seriously, I have picked up on the "breathing" of certain reds....this amazes me! That as little 30 min. to an hour can make such a difference is mind boggling!! So, I can only imagine that allowing one to sit and wait out its time would work wonders!! I love it!! Still working on the aging potential idea....this confuses me. Unless I have several bottles of the same vintage, how will I ever guess the right timing?? I suppose the bottom line is....TRY it!! You may just like it!!????? In the meantime, I try to read and learn...taste and and learn...taste and learn!!! Thanks again!!

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