What makes it a Reserve Wine?

August 17, 2013
JUSTIN Reserve Wines

We are often asked what we mean when we designate a wine with a “Reserve” label. For instance, what makes ISOSCELES different than ISOSCELES Reserve, or why do we have a Reserve Tempranillo when we do not make a regular Tempranillo? What is so different about our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from our JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon?

In the U.S., there is no legal definition of the term “Reserve”. Yes, AVA or Region designation, vintage, estate, grape variety all have very specific requirements that must be met before they can be stated on a wine label, but the term “Reserve”, originally used to designate particularly distinctive lots of wine that were “reserved” for a special bottling, remains largely undefined and often misused.

At JUSTIN, we are proud to offer our Reserve wines that truly represent something special. Exceptional fruit, small batch fermentation, distinctive barrels, or a particularly stunning outcome on a particular lot that we wanted to hold back for a special bottling, all of these conditions would qualify a wine for a JUSTIN Reserve labeling. These wines clearly stand out from our other wines, are typically only made in small quantities, and are only available at the winery or online.

Each September, we offer our Reserves Club shipment, a three wine selection of JUSTIN Reserve wines that is sent to existing members of the Wine Society that have subscribed for this special shipment. This year we will be offering three very special wines that stand out in many ways:

Reserve Cabernet: This wine has been an anchor for the Reserves Club shipment for many years. The 2011 Reserve Cabernet is a big, complex Cab that rivals the best of California Cabs and displays a depth of winemaking skill and knowledge that can only be gained by working with a grape variety in a particular region for almost 30 years as we have. You have probably seen our previous blog that discusses Paso Robles as “Cabernet Country”. The 2011 Reserve Cabernet especially backs up this statement.

Reserve Tempranillo: We have made a small production Tempranillo since the mid-nineties and this continues with the 2011 vintage. Complex, with muted ripe red fruit, spice, earth and plenty of mid-toned flavors, this wine makes the perfect complement to a wide variety of foods just like the Tempranillo based wines from Spain, such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero, that work so well with tapas.

Reserve Malbec: This wine is full bodied and shows the great fruit expression, baking spice, mineral background and solid structure that has made malbec a virtual rock-star in the wine world in recent years. Don’t miss this very limited bottling.

If you are not a Reserves Club member, there is still time to sign up for this shipment. Besides getting the Reserve Cab and Reserve Tempranillo, it may be the only way to try our new Reserve Malbec.
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