Definition - What does Austere mean?

Austere is a descriptive adjective for a wine that is dry, unbalanced and not very drinkable. Rarely is the term used to describe a pleasant flavor in a wine. The term can be applied to young, highly acidic and tannic wines, that may develop deeper characteristics and soften with age over time.

WineFrog explains Austere

An Austere wine is not necessarily a bad wine, it may just be a young wine that needs to age and develop flavor and mouthfeel. Austere wines are considered to be unpleasant to drink as they taste hard on the palate and are dry and undeveloped in flavor and mouthfeel.

Austere wines present flavors that are unbalanced and have characteristics that dominate the palate in an unpleasant manner. However, wines that present as austere when they are young can develop with age. For instance, tight flavors in a young austere wine that are overpowered by acid and tannins could open up and allow the wine to express more flavors of fruit or other elements like floral or spice as the wine matures and ages.

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