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Reserva

Additional designation for "better or outstanding wine qualities" in Portugal and Spain with higher production standards, reserved for the highest quality level(DO, DOC or DOCa).

In Spain, this designates a wine with defined higher requirements regarding vinification, alcohol content and ageing (maturing time in barrel and bottle) than normal bottling. The regulations mainly concern red wines, for white and rosé wines the requirements regarding ageing are usually lower. A Reserva must have matured for at least 36 months, at least 12 months of which must be in oak barrels and the rest in the bottle. The highest level Gran Reserva must be aged for at least 60 months, of which at least 18 months (24 months until 2005) in oak barrels and the rest in the bottle. These are often wines from the best vintages and/or the best grapes of a vintage. In contrast to a Crianza (level below Reserva), there are no special regulations for Reserva and Gran Reserva in individual wine-growing regions. Renowned wineries often exceed these regulations considerably. The famous top product "Gran Reserva 890" from the La Rioja Alta winery, for example, matures for at least six to eight years in barriques and another six years in the bottle.

In Portugal, the Reserva level may only be used for a "special vintage of outstanding quality". A red wine must have been aged or matured for three years (one of which in the bottle), a white wine for one year (six months of which in the bottle). If the alcohol content is at least 0.5% vol. more than the standard DOC requirement, a Portuguese Reserva Garrafeira may call itself Garrafeira.

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