Additional designation for "better or outstanding wine qualities" in Portugal and Spain with higher production specifications, reserved for the highest quality level (DO, DOC or DOCa).
Here, this refers to a wine with defined higher requirements in terms of vinification, alcohol content and ageing (length of ageing in barrel and bottle) than normal bottlings. The regulations mainly apply to red wines; for white and rosé wines, the specifications regarding ageing are usually lower. A Reserva must be matured for at least 36 months, of which at least 12 months in oak barrels and the rest in bottle. The highest level, Gran Reserva, must be matured for at least 60 months, of which at least 18 months (24 months were required until 2005) must be in oak barrels and the rest in bottle. Not infrequently, these are 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 of individual wine-growing regions for Reserva and Gran Reserva. Renowned wineries often exceed these specifications considerably. The famous top product "Gran Reserva 890" of the La Rioja Alta winery, for example, matures at least six to eight years in barriques and another six years in the bottle.
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Restaurantleiter, Sommelier, Weindozent und Autor; Dresden