The Spanish wine classification about aging time has been adapted to the 2003 Spanish wine and vineyards law, in order to guarantee a standard quality for the designation of origin. Besides these there are other classifications, about control and characteristics. For example, in order to get the crop year printed on the label, 85% of the wine must have been produced in the same year.
The wines can be classified in the following way:
- The young wines are those wines of the year, made to be marketed immediately. They don?t age in barrels, or the aging time used for them is smaller than provided for aged wines.
- Crianza wines: those red wines that are spending two years in age, with at least 6 months in wood (12 months for Rioja), and put on sale in the third year. The rosé and white wines remain one year aging in the cellar and six months in wooden barrels, to be sold in the second year.
- Reserva Wines: in the case of red wines, it must remain three years in the cellars, at least 12 months must be in oak barrels, for marketing in the fourth year. The rosé and white wines require two years and six months in warehouses in wooden barrels to be sold in the third year.
- Gran Reserva wines: wines made from the best vintages, in the case of the reds, they have to spend a minimum of two years in wooden barrels, the rosé and white wines spend four years in the cellars, six months in barrels and are sold during the sixth year.
Instead, aging of noble wines or fortified wines should be:
- Nobles wines: They are aged for a period of 18 months in wooden barrels
- Añejos wines: They are aged for a period of 24 months in wooden barrels
- Old wines: They are aged for 36 months in wooden barrels.
All Spanish autonomous communities are producers of wine, but half of the vineyards are in Castilla-La Mancha. This is the largest wine region of the world.
Do you like aged wines? Then we recommend 2 good ones:
Viña Cubillo Crianza 2005, the Riojas have always a great value for money
Viña Arana Reserva 2004, one great reserva wine