The mention riserva (reserve in English) indicates that the wine has undergone a certain period of aging and refinement before being placed on the market. The minimum periods established by the law depend on the category of wine:
- 3 years for sparkling wines made with the classic method;
- 2 years for red wines;
- 1 year for white wines;
- 1 year for sparkling wines made with the Martinotti / Charmat method.
This mention can only be attributed to DOCG and DOC (DOP) wines and is not necessarily linked to a single harvest; in fact, if wines of different vintages are used, for example for the production of sparkling wines, the rule applies to the most recent vintage wine. Obviously, in compliance with the law, each appellation guidelines may provide for longer and therefore more restrictive periods; in turn, within such guidelines, each winemaker can decide to prolong the period of aging or refinement.
The name of the wine, in the presence of the mention riserva, is enriched by the latter word always before the year, as indicated in the following diagram:
- appellation name + DOCG / DOC + riserva + vintage
- appellation name + mentions + specifications + DOCG / DOC + riserva + vintage
Some examples of wines with the mention riserva:
- Chianti Classico DOCG riserva 2014
- Valtellina Superiore Inferno DOCG riserva 2011