What does it truly mean when a wine is referred to as a “reserve wine”? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary app on my iPhone, a reserve wine is a wine made from select grapes, bottled on the maker’s premises, and aged differently from the maker’s other wines of the same vintage. The basic thought behind a reserve wine is to use the best of your materials for the best lots of the best years to make the best wines. However, the term is not regulated here in the U.S. and in many cases, is used as a more of a marketing strategy than an indicator of the uniqueness of a particular wine. Naggiar is one of the surprisingly few premium producers that has standards allowing us to produce true reserve wines with only the best material and when a vintage allows for it.
So, the reason why I brought this topic up: right now in the winery, we have just gone through the first pass of the assemblage (blendings) for our 2014 bottlings. We have determined what lots we are sure we are not going to use for any of our lines of wines. Like many premium wineries, ones with higher standards, we do not try to bury wine that doesn’t meet our standards into a large blend. Instead, we sell the bulk wine off at premium prices for the Sierra foothills. We have also determined what will and will not be bottled of the 2011 vintage in 2014 bottling. As a result: if you are a big fan of La Bete Noire, La Boheme, Le Grand-Pere, and Il Nonno, stock up on them now as 2011 was an exceptionally hard vintage to make our ultra-premium reserves in any quantity. Next year (2014)will be one of our smallest bottling of reserves to date. It truly is a case of quality over cases of quantity for our reserves.
So, no, I don’t have any “reservations” about our reserves- all are unique and made from the best of the best.
Feel free to comment with any of your favorite reserve wines!