A United States wine labeled “reserve” must:

A. Come from a special selection of lots

B. Come from a superior vineyard site

C. Have been aged a minimum of two years in barrel

D. There is no legal definition of the word reserve


In the U.S., the word “reserve” doesn’t have an agreed-upon definition— at least not a legal definition. Some winemakers set aside their best lots of wine or allow wines to age for an extended period then sell them as higher-end bottlings. But, for other wine companies, the word “reserve” is just a marketing term. In Europe, both Spain and Italy define the terms legally and enforce the labeling of reserve wines.

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