Literally, "Cuvée" translates to "Tank" in French, and in French wine making it actually denotes the "content of the tank".
For Champagne, cuvée can be a quality measure. Cuvée Champagne often means Champagne made from the first gentle pressing of the grapes.
In Champagne, cuvée is the first 2,050 litres of grape juice from 4,000 kg of grapes. Many Champagne producers use only cuvée in their wines.
But, since the term cuvée is unregulated, it can also refer to the blend of wines that goes into a Champagne house's special recipe.
Cuvée could also mean a blend of different grape varieties. a blend of different vineyards, different parcels, or a blend of different vintages.
Outside Champagne, the term cuvee is often used for still wines. It can be wines blended from different varieties or different vineyards.
GSM wines, from the Côtes du Rhône region in France, are classic blends of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
Bordeaux wines are classic blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
White Bordeaux wines are blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
Gentil is a quality blending AOC standard in Alsace.
Gentil must have at least 50% of Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and/or Gewurztraminer, and the rest can be either Sylvaner, Chasselas and/or Pinot Blanc.
Before blending, each variety must be vinified separately and must officially qualify as an AOC Alsace wine. The vintage year must appear on the Gentil label and can only be sold after being tasted and approved.