Why do some wines have no vintage on the label?

Perché alcuni vini in etichetta non hanno l’annata?

The label of a wine is probably more important than one might instinctively believe, because it gives the necessary information about the wine contained inside the bottle. This is why it is important to know how to read it. But why do some wines show the vintage on the label and others not?

The vintage of the wine on the label: yes or no? Let's see together everything you need to know.

The premise is that today we are all increasingly careful about what we drink: this is why it is important to understand the label and the harvest year.

What does the year written on the label indicate?

In oenological terms, the vintage indicates the year in which the grapes intended for winemaking were harvested . This is a fundamental fact, almost always reported on the label. But not always, let's see why.

What is the rule that allows the year to be included on the label?

In order to indicate the vintage on the label , at least 85% of the grapes used to make that wine must have been harvested that year.

- Read also: how to understand if the wine tastes like cork

When is the vintage of a wine mandatory?

It is mandatory to indicate the vintage on the label of a bottle in the case of DO and IGT wines , when required by the production specification.

Most of the production specifications provide for the mandatory indication of the vintage. Some prohibit it, while others authorize it (but do not oblige it), and still others provide it only for particular types of wine within the same denomination of origin.

When is the vintage of a wine optional?

It is not mandatory but optional to indicate the vintage on varietal wines , for which it is possible to indicate the grape variety and production year on the label, without reference to the production area. Also in this case, if it is indicated, at least 85% of the grapes with which the wine is produced come from the same harvest year.

These are non-DO or IGT wines that do not give any territorial indication, and are restricted to the use of these vines: Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon, Syrah.

When is it forbidden to indicate the vintage of a wine on the label?

The vintage cannot be indicated on non-varietal or generic wines (formerly table wines), those which cannot indicate the place of origin on the label and which are indicated simply as "wine" followed by the colour. In truth, there is a way to indicate the vintage: the producer must request certification from a third party, at his own expense. Without certification, it is prohibited.

- Read also: how to read a wine label

What to do if the vintage is not indicated on the label?

For the consumer, it is possible to obtain information from the bottling batch , always indicated on the label. To be certain about the vintage, all that remains is to contact the producer.

Why is the vintage of a wine important?

The vintage of a wine is very important because it has the power to determine the quality of a wine in the concreteness of a specific vintage . The vintage makes sense only and exclusively with reference to a specific area, better if limited because the climatic variables that determine the quality are extremely variable.

- Read also: when it is right to uncork a wine

Does indicating the vintage influence the perception of quality?

Here I am. Studies clearly indicate that the age of the wine is an important variable, capable of exerting a significant influence on the willingness to pay for wine . Moreover, the price increase also goes together with the increase in storage costs for producers.

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