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Whether you are selecting a wine in a restaurant or exploring a cellar door tasting list, you may have noticed the word ‘RESERVE’ on the label.

So what does it mean?
The term ‘Reserve’ refers to a wine of higher quality, or it can be a wine that has been aged before being released or both. Traditionally, winemakers would reserve some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately, coining the term.

Some countries have strict regulations on what can appear on the label.

What does ‘Reserve’ mean?
Whether you are selecting a wine in a restaurant or exploring a cellar door tasting list, you may have noticed the word ‘RESERVE’ on the label.

So what does it mean?
The term ‘Reserve’ refers to a wine of higher quality, or it can be a wine that has been aged before being released or both. Traditionally, winemakers would reserve some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately, coining the term.

Some countries have strict regulations on what can appear on the label.

SPAIN
In Spain, ‘Reserva’ wines must be aged for 3 years with a minimum of 6 months in oak barrels, you will see this on many Tempranillos.

ITALY
In Italy, each region will have a different definition of a ‘Riserva’ wine. Depending on the region, these wines need to be aged for a minimum of 2 to 5 years before leaving the cellar.

AUSTRALIA
Along with other new world countries like US and NZ, we are not restricted by old world rules. So essentially, here in Australia, it can mean a lot or not much at all.
For us at Saddler’s Creek Wines (and almost all winemakers in Australia), it is a term for the highest quality of wine, potentially aged longer and available in limited quantity. It is our signature series, a collection of wines our winemakers are proud to put their signature on.

A Reserve wine begins in the winery when the winemakers put aside or “reserve” some of their wine from a selected parcel of fruit, barrel or vintage that was of exceptional quality. The treatment of wine from the vineyard to the bottle also influences the status and price of the wine.

The fruit may have been handpicked, made in small batch with a hands on approach such as basket pressing to the barrel maturation including the use of the highest quality oak barrel. These are all factors that add considerable labour and costs to crafting the finest of wines. You can look for such quality clues on the label description and tasting notes of a Reserve wine.

Saddler’s Creek’s finest wines are released under our Alessandro & Maria Reserve Collection.
What makes our Signature Series so special?

VINEYARD
Great wine begins in the vineyard. Pedigree and age of the vines, clone, site location and terroir, viticulture techniques, harvesting methods and certainly vintage conditions all contribute to the quality of the grape. Saddler’s Creek Wines is a multi-region producer, sourcing exceptional quality grapes from across Australia’s most renowned regions. We have been working with these growers for decades and they are like family to us.

WINEMAKING
From the moment the grapes leave the vine, our winemakers prepare how the fruit will be nurtured depending on the many variables of vintage conditions. From gentle fruit extraction with hand plunging in open vats during fermentation to basket pressing and maturation in finest oak. This process is very labour intensive and as our head winemaker Brett Woodward says “It takes many a cold beer to make a great wine”.

MATURATION
Aging in oak helps the wine develop its full flavour. It will soften a wine, add complexity and tannin. It’s a delicate balance with oak maturation. Large or small oak barrels, seasoned or new barrels all affect the flavour and characteristics of the wine. The better the wine, the greater the need for quality oak barrels. We only use the finest oak barrels to mature our reserve wines. Our Reserve Chardonnay is matured for 6-8 months, while the Reserve reds are barrel aged for up to 24 months.

BLENDING
One of the least known aspects of winemaking is blending. This vital step is a team effort and ensures the final wine is balanced and layered with aromatics, taste and textural complexities. Blending starts all the way back in the vineyard. The parcel of fruit, varietals, regions and oak maturation are all individual variables our winemakers have to balance. It means skillfully combining all these elements so as to create the best possible wine.

Throughout August and September, we are showcasing our new release Alessandro and Maria Reserve Collection at Cellar Door and we invite you to join us for a guided tasting of these exceptional wines matched with a set menu of Italian inspired lunch, with each dish matched to each wine, held each Sunday.
BOOK NOW https://saddlerscreek.rezdy.com/502977/reserve-wine-journey-italian-sunday-lunch-august