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Nov 2016
Vintage Chart.

Mar 2013
Bacchus 2013.

August 2010
Redesigned layout.

Contact Info
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JRNet
Madrid, Spain
Email: jriis@jrnet.com

Phone: (+34) 913 205 911
Fax: (+34) 913 205 911

*Interpreting Labels

At first, trying to make sense of a Spanish wine label may seem to be a daunting task; but it's not really that difficult. Rather than run a course in label interpretation, let's just try and get a handle on the basic terminology.

First of all keep in mind 6 basic quality levels:

1. Vino de mesa
table wine without a geographic denomination
2. Vino joven
young wine, usually from a qualified DO region, sometimes with a bit of ageing, but not enough to be a "roble" or "crianza"
3. Roble
"roble" means oak, some regions allow this term on the label for lightly oaked wines that don't reach "crianza" standards
4. Crianza
aged 2 years, at least 6 months in oak
5. Reserva
quality wine, normally aged at least 3 years, at least 1 year in oak casks, 2 years in the bottle, made from top vintages
6. Gran Reserva
quality wine, aged at least 2 years in oak plus 3 years in the bottle, made from exceptional vintages

    Other useful terms:

  • Bodega = Winery
  • Añejo = Aged
  • Cepa = Vine or name of grape
  • Cosecha, vendimia = Vintage year

    Types of wine:

  • Tinto = Red wine
  • Rosado = Rosé wine
  • Blanco = White wine
  • Cava = Sparkling wines made by champagne method
  • Espumoso = Sparkling wines made outside the "cava" denomination

    Sweetness (whites, sherries and "cavas"):

  • Dulce = Sweet
  • Seco = Dry
  • Semi-seco = Medium-dry
  • Brut = Very dry

    Sherries (Jerez, Montilla, Sanlucar de Barrameda):

  • Fino = Light dry sherry
  • Manzanilla = Very dry sherry from Sanlucar
  • Amontillado = An aged "fino"
  • Palo cortado = Dark, superior grade sherry (or Montilla)
  • Oloroso = Dark, full-bodied sherry
  • Pedro Ximenez = A dark, sweet sherry (or Montilla)
  • Cream = Very sweet sherry
    Note: Don't forget de Denominación de Orígen label. It's your guarantee of the wines origins and content. The function of the Consejo Regulador (regulatory body) of each D.O. region is to insure the quality of it's wines. See the Label Page (Be patient, it's Large!) for more examples.