The word cuvée comes from French. The literal meaning of cuvée is tank. For those who still remember the French lessons of high school, the term cuvée would mean something like 'tanked up' or coming out of a tank. The term cuvée can have many different meanings in French. But on a wine label, it is used for specific purposes. Cuvée is not a grape variety! Although that is what some think. It also has nothing to do with specific White wine of Red wine.
The meaning of cuvée wine
The term cuvée with wine refers to the blending of different grape varieties. This is sometimes also referred to as melange wine or as blend called wine. Why a wine is mixed together often has to do with several reasons. Like a wine too much tannins it can be mixed with wine that has little tannins contains to give it a certain taste and aroma to give. Another word for this process is melange wine or blend wine.
The use of the term is not regulated. On the other hand, there are no requirements when a wine is labeled cuvée. The fact that the name is on a bottle of wine says nothing about the quality of this wine. The word on a wine label from an unknown winegrower does not guarantee superior quality.
Cuvée and quality of the wine
However, at renowned wineries and winegrowers the term does have a connection with quality. These winegrowers often bring 'normal' melange wine out. But also melange wine that receives the label cuvée. This is often wine from selected grape varieties. These are of higher quality which in oak barrels ripen.
In particular, terms such as 'cuvée Speciale' or 'tete de cuvée' (the latter especially in Sauternes AOP) on a bottle of wine indicate a very high quality wine. This is due to the aging process where the wine can be kept for a very long time.
Some winegrowers make a distinction in wine of higher quality compared to the 'normal' cuvée. Often this wine is then another label. In Croatia it is labeled 'quality wine'. In Spain, this type of wine is given the name Reserva. While in Germany this wine is often referred to as Prädikatswein.
Sometimes a high quality wine is also labeled 'wine from protected origin'. But also 'wine with protected geographical indication' is possible. A cuvée wine label can also be numbered. This indicates that the winemaker has assigned a uniquely numbered sequence to that specific one melange wine.
In certain wine regions, this designation is used to refer specifically to a melange to point out. A wine produced from a mixture of different grape varieties, instead of different wine types. This is especially true in wine regions outside France.
French region of Champagne
In the French region of Champagne, winegrowers make 'Methode Traditionnelle' sparkling wine. The term cuvée then refers to the best grape juice from the gentle pressing of the grapes (the first pressing). Some other regions outside of Champagne also use this term when making sparkling wine. The term therefore has a completely different meaning in these types of regions.
In Champagne, the first 2050 liters of grape juice from 4000 kg of grape must are labeled cuvée. In France this is also called 'premier taille' – first tail. The next 500 liters is known as the 'deuxieme taille' (second tail). These are also pressed with more pressure. This gives the wine a somewhat coarser character.
Which grape varieties are suitable as a cuvée?
The waist of a Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are slightly lower quality. Because there is too much tannin removed from the skin, seeds and stem during the pressing of the grape must. Tannins are not suitable for sparkling wine such as champagne. On the other hand, the waist of the Chardonnay suitable as sparkling wine.
Sometimes we come across different wines as blend wine, this is both at white wines and Riesling, Graševina, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Posip en Pinot Grigio the case.
At the red wines different types can also be used as a blend wine. This is the case, for example, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Plavac Mali, Zweigelt en Blaufränkisch.
Conclusion on significance of cuvée
In short, cuvée is not a grape variety. A cuvée wine is a wine in which two or more grape varieties have been mixed. In the French region of Champagne, the term has a different meaning. In Champagne, it is the sparkling wine from the first pressing of the highest quality. You can compare it with the different quality classes in olive oil.
Cuvee wine from Croatia
Now that you know all the tricks of the cuvée wine, you can also enjoy the cuvée yourself wine from Croatia. We have different types of these in our range. Order the wine and trial the unique taste of this wine.