Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Riserva, nebulous Italian term usually denoting a wine given extended ageing before release, and suggesting a higher quality than the normal version of the same wine. However, only few Riservas, notably collio goriziano Riserva and vino nobile di montepulciano Riserva, have stricter production regulations, such as higher minimum alcoholic strength (therefore mirroring the superiore designation), and higher minimum extract. Chianti Classico Riserva, for example, questionably allows chaptalisation to add up to 0.5% alcohol by volume. The ageing requirement for Riservas varies from DOC to DOC, but normally is a minimum of one year, up to 62 months for Barolo Riserva. In many cases this must include a period in cask, as well as in bottle (with the notable exception of Chianti Classico Riserva, which does not require any wood ageing, however common it is in practice).