Spanish Wine Label Language
This article on Spanish wine label language is a complementary part of my Understanding European Wine Labels article that will teach you the meaning of foreign terms on European wine labels.
Spanish Wine Label Definitions
AÑEJO: Aged for 12 months in cask or bottle
BODEGA: Literally wine cellar; used as part of the name of a wine firm
CAVA: A sparkling DO wine produced using the traditional method
CLARETE: Midway between light red and dark rosé, synonymous with tintillo
COSECHA: Means vintage, indicates that a minimum of 85 percent of a wine so labeled is produced in the year marked
COSECHERO: A fresh, fruity, new or nouveau style wine, synonymous with nuevo and vino joven, usually a vino de mesa
CRIADO Y EMBOTELLADO POR: Blended and bottled by
CRIANZA: A red crianza must be aged for a minimum of two years (at least six months must be in oak); a white or rosé crianza requires one year of aging, with at least six months in oak
CRIANZA CORTA: Wines that have less than the legal minimum cask-age for any cask-age designation, synonymous with sin crianza.
DENOMINACIÓN DE ORIGEN (DO): Wine from a controlled-quality wine region
DENOMINACIÓN DE ORIGEN CALIFICADA (DOC A ): The highest official classification, above Denominación de Origen
DOBLE PASTA: Refers to red wines macerated with double the normal proportion of grape skins to juice during fermentation. Wines are opaque, with an intense color, and may be sold in the bottle or for blending.
EMBOTELLADO POR: Bottled by...
ESPUMOSO: A sparkling wine made by any method
GENEROSO: A fortified or dessert wine
GRAN RESERVA: Wines from the very best years considered capable of even further aging. For reds, the minimum is five years, of which at least 18 months must be in oak. White and rosé gran reservas require four years aging, of which at least six months must be in oak
NOBLE: Aged for two years in cask or bottle
NUEVO: A fresh, fruity, new or nouveau style wine, synonymous with cosechero and vino joven, and usually a vino de mesa
RESERVA: Wines from good years considered capable of even further aging. For reds, the minimum amount of aging is three years, of which at least one year must be in oak. White and rosé reservas require two years aging, of which at least six months must be in oak
SIN CRIANZA: A wine without wood-aging, including all cool-fermented, early-bottled white and most rosé wines. Falling out of use, in favor of vino joven
TINTILLO: Halfway between light red and dark rosé, synonymous with clarete
VIEJO: Literally means old. The wine must be aged for at least three years
VIÑA OR VIÑEDO: Literally vineyard, but often merely part of a brand name, nothing to do with a specific vineyard
VINO COMARCAL: A regional wine, above Vino de mesa and below Vino de la tierra
VINO DE AGUJA: A semi-sparkling or pétillant wine
VINO DE CALIDAD CONINDICACIÓN GEOGRÁFICA: A stepping stone between Vino de la tierra and Denominación de Origen
VINO DE LA TIERRA: Literally country wine
VINO DE MESA: Literally table wine; on the labels of very ordinary, inexpensive wines
VINO DE PASTO: An ordinary, inexpensive, and often light style of wine
VINO JOVEN: Wine made to be drunk within the year. There are moves to replace the term sin crianza with vino joven, but while wines in both categories must be without any wood-aging, some sin crianza wines are made to age well in bottle, unlike vino joven.