Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Spanish term used both to describe the process of ageing a wine and also for the youngest officially recognized category of a wood-matured wine. A crianza red wine may not be sold until its third (second for whites and rosés) year, and must have spent a minimum of six months in cask. Crianza white and rosé must be aged for at least 18 months, including six months in wood. In rioja and other regions such as ribera del duero, where the term is most commonly used, the wine must have spent at least 12 months in oak barricas. An increasingly frequent, albeit unofficial, category now is semi-crianza, or roble (meaning oak), for wine aged in cask for less time than the crianza minimum. With the term joven fully accepted for fruity young wines without cask ageing, the slightly derogatory description sin crianza had all but disappeared by the late 1990s.