Term for a wine whose alcoholic fermentation has not yet finished and which is not yet separated from the yeasts (not yet clarified). In common parlance, wines of the current vintage or wines intended for quick use are also called so. Other names with partly similar meanings are Heuriger, Junker and Primus (Austria), Joven (Spain), Nouveau (France) and Novello (Italy). Young wines have a special quality, they can differ considerably in colour and taste from wines that have matured longer. They quite simply cannot yet show any taste nuances(aromatic substances) which only develop slowly during bottleaging or ageing.
The trend is towards young wines with a taste within the first one to two years. This is especially true for white wines. The majority of (especially younger) consumers demand this and producers naturally take it into account when making wine. This development began in the mid 1980s. There are, however, country-specific customs. In France, for example, especially in Burgundy and Bordeaux, there is a centuries-old tradition of matured crops. However, Austria and to some extent also Germany are "young wine drinking countries". Especially Austria has always been a "Heurigentrinkerland"(Heuriger = current vintage) and an "Alter" is rather appreciated only by a minority.
The famous winemaker Josef "Pepi" Umathum, a doyen and winemaker philosopher within the Austrian winemaking scene, aptly put it like this: "Youth is the magic word. Youth is in, you only have to look at the advertising. Wine is also in, so it is absolutely clear that young wine is in". But slowly a certain trend reversal is taking place. People who explicitly order young wines in restaurants and call older vintages "slow sellers" are now increasingly beginning to "understand" mature wines and appreciate their special qualities. See in detail under the keywords bottle aging, shelf life and drinking maturity.
Complete lists of the numerous vinification measures or cellar techniques, as well as the types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate regulated by wine law are included under the keyword vinification. Comprehensive information on wine law can be found under the keyword wine law.