Solera, Spanish for "lying on the ground", is a process for aging sherry, Malaga, brandy or glacier wine. Oak barrels are stacked on top of each other, part of the matured sherry or brandy from the lowest row of barrels, the solera, is bottled, and the barrels, now emptied by about a third, are refilled with the younger wine from the next higher row, the criaderas (Spanish for "breeding"). This is repeated row by row until the topmost barrels are empty and again provide space for fresh distillate. In this way, the wine taken from the bottom row for release contains a blend from every vintage since the solera was started.

This process is also used by some producers in Champagne for their non-vintage cuvées. Smaller producers in particular often face space constraints, so they sometimes store all their reserve wines in a single vessel, which is called a "réserve perpétuelle" (perpetual reserve or perpetual blend), but alluding to the Sherry aging method, is sometimes also called a solera. "The two terms are used interchangeably in Champagne," says Peter Liem, "generally speaking, the older generation in Champagne tends to use the term "solera," while the younger, more avant-garde generation (who often drink sherry themselves), uses the correct term, "réserve perpétuelle," in recognition of the fact that it is not a true solera system."

The major Champagne houses also set aside a portion of wine from each vintage and draw on these reserves, stored in large cellars, in years with smaller harvests to achieve consistent quality for cross-vintage blends. "A perpetual reserve adds complexity to a non-vintage wine and helps the winemaker maintain his house style," says Cédric Moussé. Over time, these cuvées gains nuances and depth, which then makes them interesting as a wine in its own right. The fresh wines of the last vintage are "educated" by the older wines and take on the mature characteristics of the previous vintages. The French expression "reflet d'antan", which translates as "reflection of the past", refers to this particular way of producing Champagne.

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