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The governing body for the Douro, Port and Douro Wine Institute, in Portugal has unveiled a new classification system, one designed to be more consumer-friendly.

The basis is a 20 point system based on tastings. Any wine coming in with less than 10 points is refused classification. Those with 10 points are classified as a regional wine (Terras Durienses). One more point and the wine is classified as Douro DOC, while 12 and 13 points plus a years minimum ageing can be labelled Reserva.

Wines above 13 points with a minimum years ageing can be labelled as Grande Reserva, Reserva Especial, Colheita Seleccionada and Grande Escolha.

Old classifications such as escolha (old) and superior are no longer allowed. The new rules should come into use by May 2007.

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