How much difference does a little age make?Bodegas Montecillo 2007 Crianza, 2006 Reserva and 2003 Gran Reserva. All 100% Tempranillo … [Read more...]
The Best Wines From Rioja Under $20 - The Reverse Wine Snob Picks!
Words like Reserva and Gran Reserva actually carry little meaning in many places in the winemaking world. Wineries are free to slap the label on a bottle for no other reason than marketing if they please.
In places like Rioja; however, that's definitely not the case. These terms actually carry strict regulations and thus mean something. Specifically, here's what those terms mean in Rioja:
Young wines: Wines in their first or second year.
Crianza wines: Wines which are at least in their third year, having spent a minimum of one year in casks and a few months in the bottle. For white wines, the minimum cask ageing period is 6 months.
Reserva wines: Selected wines of the best vintages that have been aged for a minimum of 3 years, with at least one year in casks. For white wines, the minimum ageing period is 2 years, with at least 6 months in casks.
Gran Reserva wines: Selected wines from exceptional vintages which have spent at least 2 years in oak casks and 3 years in the bottle. For white wines, the minimum ageing period is 4 years, with at least one year in casks.
One other thing you'll notice in these regulations is the amount of time specified for wines to age in bottle. In what's a pretty unique situation in the wine world, Rioja as a whole has decided that they do not want to release their wines until they are ready to drink. This doesn't mean the wines can't age well for a significantly long time after release but it does mean that as a consumer you can be sure that that bottle of Rioja you buy this afternoon is going to taste great at dinner tonight, no additional aging required.
Read on for our list of The Best Wines From Rioja Under $20!