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Wine Wisdoms #10: Are Reserve Wines Important?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 at 6:48:25 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Unlike old-world countries like France and Italy which have levels of designation which are enforced by the government (AOC/DOC), new-world wineries build their reputation on perceived quality by the consumer. As a result, many wineries use the term “Reserve” to denote special bottlings made from top grapes/vineyards or wines made in a different style than their other labels. The term “Reserve” is not regulated, so it is up to the winery’s discretion. As a result, a “Reserve” wine can be a quality wine, or it can be a clunker. A low level winery can produce a “Reserve” wine if it’s better than their other wines, but it’s not necessarily a great wine because the term “Reserve” is used.

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