While the wine world is rife with undefined terms, many regions have clearly defined words that seem to be designed to clear up any confusion that their use may cause. Take for example the classifications of Rioja: Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva. These reflect increasing steps on the quality ladder, right?
Wrong, big time wrong. This is the uninformed kind of wrong I recently mentioned in my article about consumers getting ripped off. Let’s make one thing clear here, Rioja Reservas spend more time in wood and in barrel. They are not better than Crianzas because they are Reservas. Some producers’ Reservas are better than their Crianzas simply because they took the time and effort to make a better wine. As you might notice, that logic does not prevent other producers’ Crianzas from being better, if you catch my drift.
Here are some top picks from recently released Reservas. It’s worth revisiting my notes on recent Crianzas to compare the quality and value of these wines.
Photo courtesy chamay2001 via Flickr/CC