Which of the following best describes a wine with "ripe tannin"?
A. Wine with so much tannin, it is unlikely to age well
B. Wine with tannin in balance with its acidity
C. Wine with tannin that does not feel overly astringent on the palate
D. Wine with tannin that has mellowed by aging in new oak barrels
So-called “ripe tannin” is a positive attribute that results from grapes that have been harvested at an ideal point of maturity. Tannin in a wine is beneficial, for it gives red wines a firm structure as well as the potential for aging. Tannin is both tasted and felt. Young, highly tannic wines have a slight bitterness (like espresso or chocolate) and a drying, astringent feel. If the wine has been made from mature grapes with ripe tannin, the bitter dry quality of tannin will be ameliorated. Excessively dry, harsh, scratchy tannin is a negative and may never ameliorate. Harsh tannin, often called green or unripe tannin, most often results when grapes have been picked before they are completely physiologically mature.