Region Classifications

Each Appellation, or region, has regulatory bodies ( consejo regulador ) that are responsible for defining the rules of each Denominacion de Origen (DO). They regulate many different elements of the wine growing system but especially the following: which grapes are authorized to be planted, what are the maximum yields, what is the minimum acidity, and they establish tiers of wine quality based on aging time. The wines are released when they are ready to drink and cellaring is not required as the wines are delicious and perfect for immediate consumption. However, many wines, most often reds, can have great aging potential and can be cellared for years to come.

Spanish Wine Aging Classification

Wines from Spain are classified based on aging time. The below classification most often applies to Red wines. The classification changes with each region but is generally the following:

Joven / Cosecha: It translates to mean young. No minimum aging is required in barrel and most only have bottle aging. They are released the following year after the harvest. They show fresh, fruit flavors and are perfect for immediate consumption.

Crianza: It translates to mean aged. It requires a minimum aging time in barrel and in bottle before the wine can be released. The aging time depends on the regional requirements. These wines show complexity, oak notes and soft tannins.

Reserva: It also requires minimum aging in a barrel and in bottle, usually an extra 12 months longer than Crianza. The wines will have more oak flavors than a Crianza, and the tannins will soften up to reveal a lush flavor palate.