The word "treasure" has different associations for different people. The most essential meaning of "collection" refers to that something is valuable and properly collected. But for wine, the word "treasure" has a special meaning.
1. Origin of rare wine
In order to better understand the word "treasure", let's first review history. In the early days, if winemakers were proud of their wines of a certain year, they would cellar these wines in the cellar as much as possible, and the word "treasure" was born from this. In fact, this term has nothing to do with the fermentation or blending process, and has been derived to become a symbol of quality today.
Ideally, winemakers would label their high-quality wines or wines aged over a period of time with the term "collection". But this is an ideal situation, and there is no lack of opportunism in a few wineries.
2. Cunning marketing strategy
What we need to pay attention to when understanding the rare wine is that many wine producing regions in the world do not have a unified standard for the use of the term "collection". "Collection" is also named after wine in many cases. At this time, it is not only used to describe this wine, but also becomes a part of the brand. This phenomenon has appeared in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, even France and some other countries.
If a California Cabernet Sauvignon wine is labeled with the word "collection", the best case is that the winemaker regards it as a very mellow and high-quality wine worth tasting, but the worst case is that it is likely to be labeled in order to sell the wine as soon as possible.
3. Two exceptions: Spain and Italy
When you think this term looks like market cannon fodder, you can turn a blind eye and ignore it, but this does not mean that all cases, Spain and Italy are the exceptions. The two countries have clear regulations on the use of the term "treasure" (Spain is "reserve", Italy is "Riserva"). Every region of Italy has a strict definition of "Riserva". For example, Barolo wine must be aged for more than 5 years to be included in the Riserva level, but some wines only need two years.
Spain is somewhat different from Italy in terms of the use of the term "collection", which is stricter than Italy. Only wines that have matured in oak barrels for more than 6 months and aged for more than 3 years can have "reserve" written on the wine label. If wine is marked as "treasure" but has not passed the barrel, then strictly speaking, it cannot leave the cellar and be sold to the market. These strict terms are particularly common in the Rioja region, which is most famous for Tempranillo wine. The Tempranillo wine produced in this region can reach a very perfect state after aging, which can be described as a real collection of wine.
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