What Is A Reserve Wine? (Correct answer)

  • Reserve wine is wine of a higher quality than usual, or a wine that has been aged before being sold, or both. Traditionally, winemakers would reserve some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately, coining the term.


Are reserve wines better?

Today, the implication of a reserve wine is that it’s a higher quality wine that has been aged longer. In fact, you’ll find most wineries who use the term really do put their best product into their reserve wines. Today, the implication of a reserve wine is that it’s a higher quality wine that has been aged longer.

What is considered a reserve wine?

In order for a member winery to call a wine “reserve,” it means only 3,000 cases or 10 percent (whichever is greater) of a winery’s production can be labeled as such. These wines must be designated by the winemaker as higher quality (and higher priced).

What is a reserve red?

This smooth red is pack with ripe red fruit flavours, with hints of delicious vanilla and cherry. Units.

What is reserve wine in Champagne?

Reserve wines are a necessary and integral part of blending non-vintage champagne every year. They are produced by becoming base wines – undergoing the first fermentation – and then stored (in a tank, bottle or barrel) and used to blend the champagne at a later stage.

Why is reserve wine more expensive?

These “reserve” wines would be aged longer to be sold later and packaged to say, “this wine is especially worth having.” That’s why reserve wines, as a years-long investment on the part of the winemaker, are typically more expensive.

What is the difference between Kendall Jackson Vintner’s reserve and Grand Reserve?

All of Kendall-Jackson’s wines are focused on cool, coastal grape-growing sites. The Grand Reserve wines focus even more narrowly on sources from mountains, ridges, hillsides and benchlands. This is because elevation enhances cooler temperatures that yield even greater finesse in the glass.

What makes wine a vintage?

New wine drinkers might find vintages complicated, but the definition of vintage is relatively simple: a wine’s vintage is the year the grapes were picked. Wines with a declared vintage can include any variety where a single year’s harvest defines the wine’s flavor.

What does Petit reserve mean?

The Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve wines are the lowest level of “reserve” wines that bear the Trader Joe’s name falling below the standard “Reserve” label, the “Grand Reserve” label, the “Platinum Reserve” label and the new, top of the line “Diamond Reserve” tier.

What is Malbec wine?

What Is Malbec Wine? Malbec wine is known for its deep purple color and full body. Malbec grapes are small and dark in color with very thick skins, producing a wine that has rich fruity flavors and medium tannin levels. Malbec wines are often higher in alcohol than Merlot or Pinot Noir.

What is a reserve spirit?

The Reserve portfolio consists of six premium spirit brands: the Platinum Label blended Scotch whiskies, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Gold Label Reserve and classic single malt whiskies; Zacapa rum; Ketel One vodka; Don Julio tequila; Ciroc vodka and Tanqueray No. Ten gin.

Are there any good English red wines?

The best English red wines to know Shaw says: “Based in Kent, Gusbourne’s head winemaker, Charlie Holland, is one of the best in the country, and his still Pinot has long been lauded for its elegance and finesse.

What is the cost of red wine?

Price: ₹950 (Approx.) for 750 ml. Why is this the best red wine in India?

What is Brut Reserve?

The Brut Réserve is a light, fine and harmonious champagne. It is made up of a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier from three different years and sourced from the best sites in the Champagne region.

What is Brut Reserve NV?

Our NV Brut Reserve is a multi-vintage blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that incorporates aged reserves of wines specially prepared for the production of this, our house style of sparkling.

What is in Chianti wine?

Chianti wine (“kee-on-tee”) is a red blend from Tuscany, Italy, made primarily with Sangiovese grapes. Common tasting notes include red fruits, dried herbs, balsamic vinegar, smoke, and game.

What is a Reserve Wine? Well, That Depends

The word “Reserve” might signify a great deal or a great deal of nothing at all. In the case of wine labels, the words’Reserve’, ‘Riserva’, or’Reserva’ denote a special vintage. Some nations have stringent standards, but in the United States, the term “Reserve” isn’t formally defined in any way. You’ll learn the actual meaning of the term “reserve wine.” In the United States, the term “Reserve” officially means nothing.

What is a Reserve wine?

The use of the word ‘Reserve’ on a label is only the beginning of the ruse. Terms like “ancient vine,” “fine,” and “exceptional” are not always used in the manner you may expect them to be. For example, the term ‘Fine’ is actually used to refer to the lowest grade rung of Marsala, not the highest.

Where The Concept of a Reserve Wine Came From

The concept of reserve wines is thought to have originated in the cellar, when winemakers would hold back or’reserve’ portion of their wine from a particularly fruitful and good-tasting harvest. In today’s world, the term “reserve wine” refers to a higher-quality wine that has been matured for a longer period of time. In truth, you’ll discover that the majority of wineries who use the phrase reserve wines truly do employ their best product to create their reserve wines. A few producers, however, have taken advantage of this notion, believing it to be a fantastic method to sell their wine.

This offer expires on January 31!

Read on to find out more

Countries Where Reserve Wines Have Rules

Spain and Italy are the two most important nations in which ‘Reserve’ has special criteria.

Countries Where Reserve Wines Don’t Have Rules

Sometimes the rear label of a bottle of wine contains useful information regarding the wine’s age. Chardonnay from Ashan If your nation isn’t on the list above, it’s likely that it doesn’t have any regulations governing reserve wines. ‘Reserve’ is recognized as a brand name on the TTB website of the United States, which indicates that Reserve is nothing more than a title in this context. Fortunately, the majority of winemakers recognize the intended meaning of the term and save its use for their most expensive wines.

Should We Have Rules?

Maybe. The reason behind this is as follows: The term Reserve informs us that the wine has been aged for a certain period of time. As you may be aware, aging has a significant impact on the flavor of wine, particularly when the wine is matured in oak barrels. As a result, perhaps we require more information regarding age on the label of the bottle rather than a preset word. For example, the phrase “Aged 20 months in medium toast French oak” indicates that the wine will most likely have vanilla and baking spice characteristics, as well as moderate oak tannins, in addition to moderate oak tannins.

Find out more about the process of oak-aging wine.

Learn to Decode Wine Labels

Learn more about what’s on the back of a bottle of wine.

Reserve wine – Wikipedia

Typically, reserve wine refers to a wine of greater quality than typical, or a wine that has been matured before being sold, or a combination of the two. Traditionally, winemakers would reserve part of their best wine rather than selling it immediately, giving rise to the name “reserved wine.” In certain nations, the usage of the terms “reserve,” ” reserva,” and ” riserva ” is strictly restricted, however this is not the case in the majority of countries. Reserve wine is often sourced from the greatest vineyards or casks, elevating its status as a rare and valuable commodity.

Although the use of the term “reserve” on a wine label is not controlled in certain countries, the use of the phrase on a label may be nothing more than a marketing technique in other regions.

Kendall-Jackson used the phrase “Grand Reserve” to denote a typical reserve wine of distinction.

The availability of a non-reserve bottling from a producer who also offers reserve wine increases the likelihood that the term “reserve” is being used in the traditional sense.

Reserva in Iberia

Reserva is a legally defined word in Portugal and Spain, at the very least guaranteeing that reserve wines have some additional maturation time before being released. It is extremely difficult to manage quality in practice, which is why the word is largely concerned with the effects of ageing and alcoholic strength. Generally speaking, the standards for Portuguese and Spanish wines vary depending on the location; nevertheless, the term “Reserva” indicates that the wine has been matured for at least three years in both the barrel and the bottle, with at least one of those years being spent in the cask.

It is planned that Gran Reservas be produced only in extraordinary vintages, although the producer has the final say on this.

Reserve wine in Champagne

Champagne made from “non-vintage” grapes is distinguished by the fact that it contains a small quantity of older still wine that is mixed with still wine from the most recent vintage before going through a second fermentation in bottle to create sparkling Champagne. This aged still wine is referred to as reserve wine, and the purpose of this method is to guarantee that a Champagne house’s non-vintage product maintains a consistent style over the course of several years. Because the reserve wine is employed in the manufacturing process, it is never bottled and sold in its natural state.

However, the quantity and age of the reserve wine are frequently considered to be important indications of the quality of a Champagne and the level of ambition of the producer producing it.

Austrian DACs

For wines that meet somewhat more stringent conditions, most DACs in the AustrianDistrictus Austriae Controllatus(DAC) system have an additionalReservedesignation.

German Cabinet

Prior to the adoption of the German wine legislation in 1971, the term kabinett, which was often spelt asKabinettwein, was used to refer to reserve wine. When the termKabinettwas first used in 1971, it was used to refer to the lowest level of thePrädikatsweincategory, which had an entirely different connotation than it has now. As a result, under the current German wine classification system, there is no legally recognized phrase that corresponds to reserve wine.

See also

For example, in our article on what “vintage” means, we discussed how specific conditions—moderate temperatures, the appropriate quantity of rain at the appropriate time of year, decent soil, and a talented producer—can come together to produce uncommon and top-class wines. Good wines come from good producers regardless of the year, but every ten years or so, good farmers produce the right grapes for a premium vintage, which is known as a vintage. Collectors keep a look out for the ideal conditions that result in exceptional grapes being produced.

  1. Napa Valley saw a calm summer with a somewhat warm start to the fall season, which is just what collectors are looking for.
  2. As of the time of this writing, 2019 is also shaping up to be a very exceptional vintage.
  3. Do you distribute it in chunks or all at once?
  4. Winemakers will frequently “reserve” or hold back some of their greatest wines in order to release them later or mature them for a longer period of time.
  5. An estate winemaker could set aside wine from a certain block of grapes or wine that has been matured in a specific type of barrel for future use.
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So Is Reserve Wine Worth Paying Extra For?

It all depends on the situation. The term “reserve” has its origins in the long and illustrious tradition and history of winemaking. Nonetheless, in today’s world, the term “reserve” has no specific meaning—at least not in the United States. There are just two countries in the world where a wine branded “reserve” is genuinely controlled and signifies a definite meaning: Spain and Italy. In Spain, “Reserva” wines are matured for a minimum of three years in oak barrels, with a minimum of six months of that time spent in the bottle.

Most wines will require at least two years of age before obtaining the ariservalabel, with some wines requiring as much as four or five years of maturation before earning the label.

However, in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and other wine-producing nations, the term “reserve” is only a marketing label for the wine.

Some winemakers hold aside their best wine to offer as a higher-end product, but because there are no industry-wide standards or protocols in place, purchasers have no means of knowing which reserve wines are authentic and which are just marked up.

The Personal Approach to Finding Premium Wines

As a connoisseur, you aren’t completely without hope, though. Wine collectors may still locate and hunt down extraordinary wines the old-fashioned way, by tasting wine and identifying excellent producers, even if the label itself doesn’t mean anything. Learning about the producers’ processes, histories, and styles is an important part of the wine-tasting experience. You may take them at their word if they release a truly remarkable wine after you have established a relationship with a group of winemakers you know and trust.

Why Producers Like Us Matter

Small producers like Theorem Vineyards, who rely on the quality of their wines rather than their marketing, are either successful or unsuccessful. Our guests and clients are not only intimately aware with our procedure, but they are also familiar with the land that produces our grapes, thanks to tours and visits. Regardless matter how the term “reserve” is employed, we believe that the rich traditions and history of winemaking are still very much alive and well in our region. We are confident in our ability to tell our customers that a wine is from an unusual vintage (such as the wines we made during the 2018 Napa growing season).

There are no two varietals, years, or bottles that are exactly alike, making it a tremendously exciting experience to discover an extraordinary vintage.

Take a closer look at the vintages and varietals we’ve made from the 2018 harvest in ourShop.

What does the term “reserve” mean-other than a higher price?

Greetings, Dr. Vinny. Could you kindly clarify what the term “reserve” means on a wine label when it is used? It appears to increase the price of the wine, but it does not necessarily translate into a better tasting wine in my opinion. —Bud F., a resident of Westlake Village, California Bud, I’d want to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything you’ve done for me. As a general rule, the phrase “reserve” in the United States has no actual (or legal) meaning and is just employed as a marketing technique.

Other wineries put their stamp of approval on everything they produce.

There are few outliers, notably in Europe, but they are rare.

A couple dozen wineries have banded together to form the Washington Wine Quality Alliance, which has determined that the term “reserve” must have some significance.

In order for a member winery to classify a wine as “reserve,” it must produce a minimum of 3,000 cases or 10 percent (whichever is larger) of the winery’s total output. This means that the winemaker must declare these wines as being of higher grade (and higher priced). —Vinny, the doctor

Myth or Fact? A Wine Is Better When It’s A Reserve

Words have power and significance, no matter where you are on the planet or what language you speak. Although the definition of the word “Reserve” can be highly different when comparing identical wine labels from opposing sides of the world, the definition of the word “Reserve” can be fairly similar when comparing similar wine labels from the same part of the world. So, what exactly do the terms “Reserve,” “Riserva,” and “Reserva” imply, and what do they truly tell you about a wine when you hear them?

When it comes to wine labels in Spain, the word “Reserva” may only be used if the winery satisfies particular ageing standards that have been established by the region’s wine rules.

The term “Riserva” is subject to similar laws throughout Italy, with various areas having varied standards for ageing.

Moreover, for a Brunello di Montalcino with Riserva on the label, the wine has aged for at least five years after harvest, with at least two of those years spent in oak and six months in bottle, as opposed to two years in oak and four months in bottle for a Brunello di Montalcino without Riserva on the label.

  • In order to suggest superior quality, wineries outside of Europe can use phrases such as “Old Vine,” “Special Selection,” and “Limited Release” on their labels, although in Europe, these terms are prohibited.
  • Caution should be exercised, since some vineyards label all of their wines as “Reserve,” which has no real meaning in this context.
  • “Riserva” and “Reserva” convey more meaning than the word “Reserve”!
  • Others could interpret this as a sign that better-tasting barrels were chosen.
  • One thing is certain: no matter what words are printed on a bottle of wine, nothing can compare to the taste of a well-made glass of wine.
  • Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 is a Chianti Classico produced by the Villa Antinori family.

Bodegas Olarra is a winery in the town of Olarra, in the province of Andalusia. Cerro Anon, Rioja Gran Reserva (Cerro Anon, 2011) Marques de Murrieta was a Spanish nobleman who lived in the 16th century. Finca Ygay Rioja Reserva 2015 (Rioja Reserva 2015)

What is a ‘Reserve’ Wine?

Wine labels feature a plethora of phrases intended to assist the buyer in better understanding the product before making a buying decision. When it comes to wine, the term’reserve’ is one of the most misunderstood and contentious expressions you’ll come across on a label. The term’reserve’ is often taken to mean a wine of exceptional quality, but it is not as straightforward as you may expect it to be. Let’s shed some light on the facts behind this labeling word that is frequently misunderstood.

The Legalities of ‘Reserve’

Some of the phrases displayed on a wine label are supported by legal authority, while others are not. It is necessary to meet specific legal requirements in order to use a term that is backed by legislation, and an independent regulatory body (in Ontario’s case, the Vintners Quality Alliance, or “VQA”) must grant approval for the term to be used following extensive taste testing and laboratory examination. The names ‘Icewine’ and ‘Estate Bottled’ are two examples of terminology in Ontario that have legal standing, according to the province’s legislation.

Spanish law (‘Reserva’) is the only wine-producing region in the world that recognizes this term as legal, and it indicates that the wine has met a minimum requirement for ageing in barrel and in bottle.

‘Reserve’ Wines in Ontario

Because the term “reserve” does not have any legal foundation in Ontario, this word is considered to be nothing more than a marketing tactic in this province. Some wineries are utilizing the phrase in a serious manner, only putting it on bottles of wine that the winemaker feels to be of better quality when compared to the other wines that he or she has made in previous years. On the other hand, some wineries may utilize the word to suggest that a wine is of outstanding quality when, in truth, it contains nothing unusual about it.

Some years will be extraordinary, while other years will be average in terms of performance.

Niagara Wineries Avoiding the Term ‘Reserve’

As a result of the realization that certain wine producers are not utilizing the term “reserve” in the true sense, several Niagara wineries have chosen to develop their own nomenclature that is distinctive to their brand when expressing that a wine is truly of high quality. The “Exclamation” line of wines from Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, for example, is only produced when a vintage is of extraordinary quality, and then only from wines that have surpassed expectations after maturing in oak barrels.

In addition to being limited edition goods, Pillitteri’s Exclamation wines are not produced on a year-round basis. Because Pillitteri has avoided the use of the phrase “reserve,” the company has helped to build customer trust in the excellence of this range of products.

Final Thoughts

Consumers are cautioned to be cautious when the phrase “reserve” appears on a bottle of VQA Ontario wine, since it may indicate a higher level of quality. The absence of a legal basis for this phrase does not necessarily imply that a particular wine is superior to others of the same type. Join us on one of our instructional wine excursions in Niagara Falls if you want to learn more about the beverage. For further information, please contact us at 866-628-5428.


Michael Twyman is a sommelier and Niagara Wine Country guide who specializes in Niagara Vintage Wine Tours and Bootleggers Tours in the Niagara Region.

Myth Busted – Calling A Wine “Reserve” Is Meaningless

When it comes to wine marketing, the term “reserve” has become one of the most shady phrases that can be used to describe a bottle of wine. Why? Because its use is unregulated – with the exception of Italy and Spain – and has varying connotations depending on which vineyard and which location is being discussed. To put it simply, reserve refers to whatever the marketer wants you to believe it refers to. When you’re first starting out in the wine world, like the vast majority of us, you imagine that the term “reserve” means something, that it signifies a wine that is a little more unique than the other bottles on your shelf.

You believe that the use of the phrase “reserve” is sufficient justification for selecting this wine over another.

Marketers are well aware of this, which is why the term is placed on the label of the bottle in the first place.

The true question is, how did we come to lose sight of it?

The wine they chose to keep as a reserve may have been made from grapes cultivated in a particular section of the vineyard that the winemaker believed to be more remarkable than others, or it may have come from specific barrels that had an influence on the wine in a variety of different and more fascinating ways.

  • Don’t let a drop pass you by!
  • The situation is still the same in two nations, namely Spain and Italy.
  • In Chianti, for example, a Chianti Reserva cannot be released until it has been matured in the winery for at least two years, which is a significant difference from the seven months that a Chianti Classico must be aged in.
  • Fun fact: Rioja’s Grand Riserva wines aren’t even released every year; they’re only available for a limited time.
  • In the rest of the globe, however, and particularly in the wine regions of the new world – locations such as Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and the United States – the designation of a wine as a reserve is essentially a sham, and the labeling of a wine as such is misleading.
  • To be clear, there is no lower-tiered wine below the Vintner’s Reserve at all; the Vintner’s Reserve is their sole wine, thus nothing has been reserved; this is all for marketing purposes.
  • However, due to the lack of official guidelines – as there are in Spain and Italy – that the winery must follow in order to use the term reserve in their labeling, the safest bet is to assume that the labeling is only for marketing purposes.
  • After receiving feedback from journalists, winegrowers, and even foreign governments, a decision was never reached, and the phrase was never categorized in any way; instead, it was kept undefined – for all intents and purposes, the term “reserve to the TTB” is devoid of significance.

Do not assume that you must spend more money, or that you are receiving a better wine, simply because the phrase “reserve” is emblazoned on the label of a bottle of wine. Date of publication: March 1, 2015

Reserva, Riserva, Reserve: What Do They Mean for Wine?

When it comes to wine marketing, the term “reserve” has become one of the most shady phrases that can be used to describe a bottle. Why? Because its use is unregulated – with the exception of Italy and Spain – and has multiple connotations depending on which vineyard and which location is being referred to. The term “reserve” really refers to whatever the advertiser wants you to believe it signifies. The trouble is that if you’re just a casual wine buyer – as the vast majority of us are – you feel the word “reserve” should signify something, that it should be a signal that the wine is a little more exceptional than the other bottles on the shelves.

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If “reserve” means something better, isn’t it preferable to say “reserve?” Because marketeers are aware of this, the term is printed on the bottle to begin with.

We should be asking ourselves why we lost it in the first place.

If they elected to reserve a particular wine, it may have been derived either from grapes cultivated in a particular section of their vineyard the vintner deemed more remarkable than others, or it could have been produced from barrels that appeared to be having a more fascinating influence on the wine in general.

  1. Never let a drop pass you by.
  2. This is still the situation in two nations, namely Spain and Italy: When it comes to what can and cannot be branded a reserve wine, the governments of both nations have strong laws in place, so you can be confident that whatever you’re buying is authentic.
  3. For this reason, when you see a bottle of wine from Spain or Italy labeled Reserve, Riserva (as opposed to Reserva), you may be confident that the wine is indeed a bit more exceptional.
  4. These wines are often only produced in exceptional years, as determined by the producers.

If we take, for example, Kendall Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve, which has been highlighted several times for its absurd name, it is useless that it is labeled with the term “reserve.” To be clear, there is no lower-tiered wine below the Vintner’s Reserve at all; the Vintner’s Reserve is their sole wine, thus nothing has been reserved; this is just for marketing purposes only.

When the TTB – the federal agency responsible for overseeing the regulation of wine labels in the United States – asked the public to weigh in on how they should categorize and regulate the term “reserve,” along with other wine terms such as “barrel fermented,” “old vine,” and “proprietor’s blend” in 2010, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Do not assume that you must spend more money, or that you are receiving a superior wine, simply because the phrase “reserve” is emblazoned on the label of the bottle. On the 1st of March, 2015,

  • Before being released, Chianti Classico Riserva must have been matured for a minimum of 27 months. There are no restrictions on how much of this time must be spent in cask as opposed to bottle. Depending on the mentality of each individual maker, this might vary.
  • A minimum of 27 months must have passed since the harvest of the Chianti Classico Riserva before it is released. Whether or not this time must be spent in cask vs bottle is not specified. Depending on the ideology of each individual maker, this might vary
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Noble Wine of Montepulciano) Before being released, the animal must have reached the age of three (one year more than the non-riserva).
  • Barolo Riserva must be aged for a minimum of 5 years before being released (one year longer than the 4 years required for non-riserva Barolo)
  • Barbaresco Riserva must be aged for a least of four years before being released (one year longer than the three years required for non-riserva Barbaresco)

Wines to ReserveCost Reserve, riserva, and reserve wines are more expensive than regular non-reserve bottlings because they are generally made from better grapes and aged for a longer period of time before release. This is because they are generally made from better grapes and aged for a longer period of time before release. Consider the expenditures associated with storing your wine for 4 to 5 years, as well as the significant additional cellar space necessary, and it becomes less surprising that some of these wines are so expensive to begin with.

  • It always comes down to getting to know the producer and learning about his or her commitment to excellence.
  • And they aren’t going to break the bank.
  • Drinking that is smooth and simple.
  • $18— This wine has several layers of luscious, cooked red fruits – wild strawberry and loganberry – with nicely developed overtones of tobacco, roasted meats, and earthy notes that lend depth to the flavor.
  • Drinking that is smooth and effortless.
  • On the palate, it’s round and silky.
  • $24– This Chianti Classico Riserva is unquestionably the greatest deal you can get.

Sweet and tart cherries, savory notes, earthy notes, strawberry, clove, and licorice combine in a complex, layered scent.

2004 Val delle Corti DOCG (District of the Val delle Corti) Chianti Classico Riserva, $30– Dark red cherry flavor, clove, and subtle spices abound in this wine.

Ruffino Santedame DOCG (DOCG) 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva, $30– A more modern style, with vanilla and toasty aromas of new oak, which is very well integrated with intense and complex fruit flavors.

Rich tongue feel, with a more black cherry than red cherry flavor.

Elegant, with enticing apricot and citrus aromas, as well as toasted oak flavors that are perfectly blended.

A massive intensity of ripe bright plummy and blackberry fruit – spices, pepper, leather – is found in the 2005 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz from South Australia, which costs $14.

Kendall Jackson Chardonnay Vintner’s Reserve Reserve (California) 2008 Kendall Jackson Chardonnay $14— A big and robust blend overflowing with luscious tropical fruit scents and tastes – mango, papaya, pineapple, and red grapefruit – intertwined with creamy vanilla, toast, and spice in a complex blend.

  1. Initially bright black fruit – plums, prunes, blackberries – with overtones of spice, tobacco, smoke, and tar on the palate.
  2. 2006 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc Reserve, Napa Valley AVA, $40– Although it is expensive, I included it because it is a lovely, refined wine that is well worth the investment at least once!
  3. White flowers, dried herbs, and citrus fruits such as lemons and tangerines, as well as lemon curd, are present in the aromas and flavors.
  4. Mary Gorman-McAdams, DWS, is a New York-based wine instructor, freelance writer, and consultant who specializes in a variety of topics.
  5. Mary Gorman-McAdams is a writer and actress.

Contributor In addition to being a wine instructor and consultant, Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a freelance writer and writer for hire. As a result of this recognition, she was named Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2012.

What Makes it a Reserve Wine?

We are frequently asked what we mean when we label a bottle of wine with the designation “Reserve.” For example, what distinguishes ISOSCELES from ISOSCELES Reserve, or why do we have a Reserve Tempranillo when we do not produce a standard Tempranillo, are all valid questions. Exactly what distinguishes our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from our JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon is not immediately apparent. The term “Reserve” does not have a legal definition in the United States of America. There are very specific requirements that must be met before a wine label can bear the designation of AVA or Region, vintage, estate, or grape variety, but the term “Reserve,” which was originally used to designate particularly distinctive lots of wine that were “reserved” for a special bottling, remains largely undefined and frequently misused.

  • An exceptional harvest, small batch fermentation, peculiar barrels or a particularly outstanding result on a single lot that we wanted to save back for a special bottling are all characteristics that might qualify a wine for the JUSTIN Reserve designation.
  • During the month of September, we provide our Reserves Clubshipment, which is a three-bottle selection of JUSTIN Reserve wines that is distributed to current members of the Wine Society who have registered to receive this special shipping each year.
  • They are as follows: Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: For many years, this wine has served as a foundation for the Reserves Club’s supply of wines.
  • Our last blog, in which we discussed Paso Robles as “Cabernet Country,” is most likely familiar to you.
  • Tempranillo from the Reserve: Since the mid-nineties, we have been producing a little amount of Tempranillo, and this tradition continues with the 2011 vintage.
  • With subdued luscious red fruit, spice and earth characteristics, as well as ample mid-tone qualities, this wine is a fantastic companion to a broad variety of cuisines.

Don’t miss out on this extremely limited edition bottling. If you are not already a member of the Reserves Club, there is still time to join and get this shipment. It may be the only chance to taste our new Reserve Malbec, as it is the only way to obtain our Reserve Cab and Reserve Tempranillo.

What is Riserva Wine?

Perhaps you’ve seen the label “driserva” on select Italian wines in the past. At Eataly, we even have a Riserva Room in several of our locations that is exclusively for customers. But, what exactly is Riserva wine, and why is there such a buzz about it in the first place?


It is customary in Italy to use the wordriservato to denote a superiorvino. When discussing important wines from Toscana, such asChianti Classico orBrunello di Montalcino, as well as Piemonte’s famousBarolo andBarbarescowines, the phrase is most frequently used. While the term “reserve” can refer to a variety of different things depending on where the wine is produced outside of Italy, Italian wine rules mandate that Riserva wines be matured for a longer amount of time than wines that are not classified as such.

  • Here are some common requirements for some of Italy’s most popular Riserva wines, as defined by the wine industry: Amarone della Valpolicella is a red wine produced in Valpolicella, Italy.
  • Barbaresco Riserva: This wine has been aged for at least 4 years.
  • Brunello di Montalcino Riserva: A Brunello di Montalcino that has been aged for at least 5 years.
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano: At least three years in the cellar


Beyond the fact that Riserva wines require higher-quality ingredients and rigorous attention to detail, the maturing process is the primary factor in the increased cost of this wine. As a result, wine producers must hold riserva wines in their cellars for a far longer amount of time than they would normally do. Please believe us when we say that it is well worth it, because there is nothing quite like the flavor of a perfectly aged riserva!


Riserva wines are considered to be the best of the best and have a high level of reputation. Traditionally, Italian wines branded “riserva” are prepared with riper grapes and are aged for longer lengths of time than non-riserva wines, according to tradition. This frequently results in a flavor that many people perceive to be superior. It’s true that these are the kinds of bottles that you “save” just for exceptional occasions. These bottles are also excellent as presents for wine enthusiasts.


We take great delight in being able to provide some of the greatest riserva wines, including rare and vintage bottles, to our customers at Eataly. Find your nearest Eataly wine shop to learn more about the collection and to learn about upcoming wine tasting events. NYC FLATIRON BOSTON is a company based in Boston, Massachusetts. CHICAGO LOS ANGELES and LAS VEGAS are two of the most important cities in the world.

The Beauty of Reserve Wine

For various people, the word “reserve” conjures up images of a variety of distinct things. The sheer act of “reserving” something leads one to believe that it is something worthwhile to keep around; something you are hanging onto in order to enjoy it at a later period. If we’re talking about wine, this is frequently the case; yet, the term “reserve” isn’t exactly as straightforward as many wine enthusiasts would like. Some of the greatest wines in the world are likely to have this label — the issue is figuring out how to sort through the multitude of bottles that don’t live up to the expectations of what the phrase truly means.

What exactly does the term “reserve” mean when it appears on the label of a bottle of wine? The answer to that question is a little more difficult to come up with than it appears, but a little background information can assist to clear up any uncertainty concerning reserve wine.

The Origin of Reserve Wine

It is necessary to go back in time in order to comprehend how the term “reserve” is now utilized in the world of wine today. The practice of “reserving” wine dates back to the days when winemakers who were particularly proud of a certain vintage or blend would keep as many bottles as possible in the cellar to enjoy later on, thereby “reserving” the wine. As a result, the phrase had nothing to do with the actual fermentation or blending process, but was instead used after the fact as a quality indicator.

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An ideal scenario would be for a wine to be labeled with the term “reserve” to be one that the winemaker has assessed to be of very high quality and/or to have been matured for an extended period of time.

A Sly Marketing Tactic

When discussing reserve wines, it is important to remember that the great majority of wine-producing countries across the world are not obligated to adhere to any specific guidelines when it comes to the use of the phrase. In many situations, the term “reserve” is included in the wine’s label, and it thus becomes more than just a descriptor—it becomes a component of the wine’s brand. This is true in many nations, including America, Australia, New Zealand, and even France, to name a few. A California Cabernet Sauvignon labeled as “reserve” indicates that the winemaker believes it to be a must-try and that the wine will be great under the best of circumstances.

Exceptions: Spain and Italy

When it appears that the word “reserve wine” is purely marketing jargon, it might be simple to dismiss it; nevertheless, this is not always the case. Spain and Italy, two extremely major exceptions to the norm, both of which have tight standards for the use of the termsreserva andriservarespectively, are notable outliers. Every area in Italy has its own concept of what it means to add riserva to a bottle of wine. Barolo, for example, must be matured for more than five years before it can be designated as a riserva wine, although certain bottles just need to be aged for two years to qualify for the designation.

Wines labeled with this designation must be matured for at least three years, with at least six months of that time spent in oak barrels, in order to qualify.

It is in the Rioja area, where Tempranillo shines as the most prestigious grape available and can be matured to perfection over a long period of time, that these tight restrictions are most prevalent.

Bottles of Reserva and Riserva to Try

Those who want to sample authentic reserve wine should stick to the countries of Spain and Italy, where they will have the best luck. Even though there are several wines wearing the label that are more than worth drinking (many of which are superb), the phrase has no precise definition in other nations where it is applied. Try some of the top bottles of Spanish reserva and Italian riserva that you can get on the market.

López de Heredia, Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva

It’s true that Gran Reserva is a rare wine, and López de Heredia’s Via Tondonia Gran Reserva is a Spanish gem that any wine enthusiast will remember for a long time after tasting it for the first time. This dusty reserva has one of the longest finishes you’ll ever discover, with notes of dirt and black fruit that linger for a long time after you drink it. In the mid-$100s, 1990s vintages aren’t cheap, but the length of time these bottles have seen makes them more than worth the high prices they command today.

La Rioja Alta: Gran Reserva 904

La Rioja Alta: Gran Reserva 904 is a popular Reserva among collectors and is considered to be one of the greatest specimens available. It can be purchased for as low as $60. This wine is matured for six years in American oak barrels before being aged for a further four years in the bottle. As a result, what happened? In fact, at the price range at which it is now available, there may be no better moment than right now to purchase one of the world’s darkest but most mellow reserva wines ever created.

Barolo Monfortino Riserva

Barolo Monfortino Riserva, one of the most iconic Italian riservas available, is a pricey treat, costing about $300 for a single bottle. After everything is said and done, it is one of the most beguiling Barolos on the earth, and the wait was well worth it. A dusty, fruity and vegetal blend that reminds you of a damp forest floor with every taste of Barolo Monfortino Riserva, one of the most complex Italian wines available. Barolo Monfortino Riserva is a powerful wine that is particularly well-known for its floral characteristics.

Now that you have a greater understanding of what the term “reserve” implies in the context of wine, you will be more equipped to make an informed selection when making your next wine acquisition.

What does ‘reserve’ mean on a wine label?

It’s a legitimate question. What exactly does the term “reserve” on a wine label mean? The solution is as follows: It almost always indicates an overpriced price. Beyond that, it’s difficult to make a firm statement. In terms of the designation, there is no worldwide standard in place. Historically, it was used to refer to a wine that was considered to be of greater quality by the maker. Winemakers would “reserve” a piece of land that produced extremely concentrated grapes as a result of its location and weather, and then lavish the wine with extra barrel ageing time.

  1. That is the case with certain reserve wines today, but it is not the case with all of them.
  2. For example, a Chianti Riserva must be aged for an extended amount of time before it can be released in order to fulfill the requirements, and producers typically save only the best juice for this purpose.
  3. If Kendall-Jackson in California names its premium chardonnay Vintner’s Reserve, there’s no non-reserve comparable to be found anywhere else.
  4. No.
  5. Despite the fact that it lacks the concentration and cellar-worthiness of riserva, normal Chianti typically has a more joyously bright character that is, I believe, concealed by the vanilla undertones of long-term barrel maturation.
  6. When it comes to wine, a higher price does not always imply a better level of enjoyment.

Send Beppi Crosariol an e-mail with your queries on wine and spirits. Keep an eye out for answers to selected questions that will be published in the WineSpirits newsletter and on the website of The Globe and Mail.

What is a “Reserve” Wine? And is it a Big Deal?

Do you pay attention to the wine labels when you’re out shopping? If you answered yes, you may have seen the term “Reserve” on the label of certain bottles. Oh, and you might have seen phrases like ” Riserva” or ” Reserva” thrown about as well. These are all variations on the same theme.

But what does “Reserve” really mean?

The concept behind this most likely originated in the wine cellar, when winemakers would “reserve” or hold back portion of the wine for a year when they believed the wine was particularly fine. As a result, these wines would be matured for a longer period of time and would often taste a little richer than conventional wines. It is true that some wineries refer to their best product as “Reserve” in order to indicate that the bottle contains their greatest product, which is the “Reserve” wine. The unfortunate reality is that there are a number of people out there who are attempting to mislead people’s perceptions of “Reserve” wine in order to sell as much wine as possible, regardless of whether the wine is truly “Reserve.” ‘Reserve’ has become more of a marketing ploy for many individuals, with the goal of attracting more customers.

  • However, the fact is that this term may be found on the label of even the lowest-quality wines.
  • (and in Armenia as well).
  • Is it worth it, or is it more likely to be a typical scam?
  • The governments of these two nations have strict standards in place about which wines may be designated as “Reserve,” and which wines cannot.

What about the rest of the world?

If you have purchased a bottle of wine with the word “Reserve” printed on it in another nation, I apologize for disappointing you, but there is no genuine assurance that you have purchased “Reserve” wine in the first place. In addition, some wine dealers go so far as to print other seemingly synonymous phrases on wine labels, such as “fine” or “old vine” or “exceptional,” which aren’t actually synonyms. I just have one piece of advice for you: whenever you see wine bottles with labels like these, stop and consider who makes the decision on whether a wine is remarkable or not.

So please feel free to shop for the wines that YOU believe are the best available.

If you’ve ever been curious in how to tell the difference between excellent and terrible wine, be sure to check out the article below:

What Is Reserve Wine?

The term “Reserve” or its Spanish and Italian equivalents, “Reserva” and “Riserva,” are used to refer to a bottle of wine. What does this mean? Discover why you should pay more for a reserve wine than you would for its “regular” cousin. Traditionally, a reserve wine is one that has been selected for its exceptional quality. In a wine cellar, it has been allowed to develop for a longer period of time and is offered to the market later than the vintage’s original batch – very precisely, it is called a “reserve.” As is the case in most countries, there are no specific rules for when a wine can be labeled as a reserve wine in the United States or elsewhere.

Most vintners, on the other hand, adhere to the traditional framework of ‘has been aged for a longer period of time and is of good quality.’

Leqal Requirements for Reserve Wine in Spain and Italy

Wines labeled “riserva” and “reserva” are legally defined in Spain and Italy, respectively. A Chianti may only claim this distinction if it has been matured for a minimum of two years before being released for sale. For the two world-famous Barolo and Barbaresco reds from the northern Italian region of Piedmont to be eligible for this designation, they must spend at least 5 years in the cellar of the winery where they were produced. When the designations of Reserva and Gran Reserva are bestowed onto Spanish Rioja, it is a moment of great significance.

Aging in Oak Barrels – A Privilege For Special Wines

In Spain, the oak that was used to make wine barrels was a scarce resource. It was largely utilized for shipbuilding, rather than for wine maturing, in the past. Therefore, it was considered a luxury that could only be afforded by those who drank only the best wines. In addition to this, the wine was kept in a barrel for as long as possible to add to the elegance. For a Rioja red, a total maturing period of at least 3 years is necessary, with at least 12 months of that time spent in an oak barrel (if possible).

The classic top wines produced by the region’s historic vintners typically surpass the legal criteria.

What it means when a wine label says ‘reserve’

The word “reserve” is meant to be a quality indicator on wine labels, however whether or not it has any real meaning depends on where the wine is from. With items that can be enhanced with age (such as wines, spirits, and cheeses), the aspirational meaning of the term “reserve” began to be associated with keeping aside a top-notch batch for more aging in order to boost its value. The word, however, was immediately overused and devalued because producers were the ones who decided which of their own batches were superior to the others.

A wine label that says “riserva” on an Italian Chianti or “reserva” on a Spanish Rioja assures that the wine has been matured in oak barrels for a longer period of time than typical, a technique that concentrates the wine and can impart a cognac-like oaky taste to the wine, respectively.

In an effort to boost its image, Argentina has implemented guidelines for the use of the names “reserva” and “gran reserva” that are similar to those used in Spain to protect the country’s vineyards.

While the wine’s rich flavors of blueberries and roasted beets are concentrated throughout this aging process, a pleasing veneer of barrel spice aromatics such as vanilla and toasted almond is added for further appeal.

Bodega Norton Malbec “Reserva” — Mendoza, Argentina (14.5% ABV)

The wine is on sale for $15.99 through Jan. 5 (regularly $18.99); PLCB Item7019It is also available at the following locations:Joe Canal’s in Marlton, New Jersey, for $12.09; Total WineMorein Wilmington and Claymont, Delaware, for $13.97; Preston WineSpirits in Wilmington, for $13.99; and Wine Warehouse in Sicklerville, New Jersey, for $14.99

Should we be impressed by ‘reserve’ wine?

Currently on sale for $15.99 until January 5 (normally $18.99); PLCB Item7019Also available at:Joe Canal’s in Marlton, Nj., for $12.09; Total WineMorein Wilmington and Claymont, Del., for $13.97; Kreston WineSpirits in Wilmington, for $13.99; and Wine Warehouse in Sicklerville, Nj, for $14.99

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