The Cuvées of Alsace

Cuvée is a French wine term derived from cuve, meaning vat or tank. The term Cuvée is used with several different meanings, more or less based on the concept of a tank of wine put to some purpose:

On wine labels to denote wine of a specific blend or batch. Since the usage of the term Cuvée for this purpose is unregulated, and most wines will have been stored in a vat or tank at some stage of their production, the presence of the word Cuvée on a label of a random producer is no absolute guarantee for its (superior) quality.

However, in the range of discerning producers which market both regular blends and blends called "Cuvée...", the Cuvée-labelled wines will usually be special blends or selected vats of higher quality, at least in comparison to that producer's regular wines. Particularly terms like "Cuvée Speciale", or "Tête de Cuvée" (the latter especially in Sauternes AOC) should indicate higher quality.