Last week my husband made me a surprise and he bought me a red wine from Tarragona. The wine is Baturrica Tarragona Gran Reserva, the 2002 vintage. Wine tasted raisin, oaky, and it is a bit rough but nevertheless very pleasant table wine for grilled meats and plate of cheese. It is very good for barbecue. This wine is a composition of Cabernet and Tempranillo wines.
So it was a big surprise when I saw this wine in Lidl store. Wine had a good taste, it was Gran Reserva and I wondered how can it be so cheap? I sought through internet for this wine. I found some information about Baturrica Tarragona Gran Reserva. One of them was a post on other blog containing the quotation: One of the best "cheap" wines. This one from DO Tarragona, sold (exclusive?) by Lidl and described by Anthony Worrall Thompson this way: "For those with a passion for fiery reds, look no further than Baturrica's Tarragona. This elegant and inexpensive Gran Reserva is bursting with vibrant red berry flavours. It's perfect for enjoying with cheese and grilled meats."
Hmm, maybe my stereotypical view about wine with labels “Gran Reserva” is not truth. For me “Gran Reserva” means expensive wine because it must be aged. So this information is very good because I like barrel taste, and European sign usually guarantees quality of wine, but the price often keeps me away. But what does “Gran Reserva” really mean? I found the answer in Wikipedia.
Reserve wine is a term given to a specific wine to imply that is of a higher quality than usual, or a wine that has been aged before being sold, or both. Traditionally winemakers would "reserve" some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately, coining the term. In some countries the use of the term “reserve” is regulated, but in many places it is not.
In similarity to the term "old wines," "reserve" is meant to indicate a wine that is special, or at least different in flavor or aging potential. In general, the more reputable the producer, the more likely the term "reserve" has a genuine meaning.
In Spain and Italy, “reserve” is regulated term controlled by law, at least ensuring that reserve wines get some additional aging. However, in practice it is very difficult to regulate quality, so the term primarily deals with aging and alcoholic strength. In Spanish wines, the requirements varies between regions, but typically, when used on a label "Reserva" means that the wine was aged for at least three years in the cask and bottle, at least one of which must have been in the cask. Those that have been aged for five years (two in cask, three in bottle) or more are labeled "Gran Reserva". Gran Reservas are intended to be made only in exceptional vintages, but this is up to the producer.
Now I see.