Spanish Sweet White Vermouth Tasting Guide
Updated: Jun 26, 2022
Spanish white vermouths tend to be all over the map in terms of sugar content and flavor profile, making for a widely diverse category. They generally lean drier, with sugar content in the semi-sweet range rather than sweet, and none of them are above 15% ABV.
Of the confectionary Spanish blanco vermouths, I particularly enjoyed Atxa Blanco. The Vidte Blanco is notable for its racy acidity, and Lustau Blanco for its balance of bitter nuttiness, fruit, and herbs. El Bandarra Blanco is my favorite of the more confectionary vermouths.
If you're new to the world of vermouth, check out my Introduction to Vermouth post to learn some basics, introduce yourself to some of the terminology used, and get a general overview of how these guides are structured (and why). Then join me back here to get into the details!
Wine Grapes: Airen
Known Botanicals: at least 5, wormwood, gentian, bitter orange
Nose: fig, raisin, marzipan, millet, vanilla, clove, gentian
Palate: vanilla, bark, cinnamon, clove, orange, poached pear, raisin, date
Finish: wormwood, vanilla, toffee, caramel, orange, cassis, currant
Additional Notes: Pale amber color. Light body. Very confectionary. The bitter notes play on the sugar in a way that almost emulates crème brûlée. This lands somewhere between dry vermouth and a light cream sherry.
El Bandarra Blanco
Producer: El Bandarra
Wine Base: 50% Garnacha Blanca, 50% Xarello
Known Botanicals: at least 40, including wormwood
Nose: vanilla, mint, cinchona, orange, papaya, lemon, almond, strawberry
Palate: vanilla, wormwood, toasted marshmallow, orange, cinchona, thyme, juniper, candied almonds
Finish: vanilla, wormwood, toasted marshmallow, orange, coffee, cinnamon, ginger, cinchona
Additional Notes: Light straw yellow color. Medium-bodied with a slightly oily texture. Perfectly balanced between the confectionary and bitter. Vanilla and orange dominate the palate. Dilution brings out lots of cream soda notes. More of a ginger heat rather than the expected cinnamon. An absolute delight to sip on its own or in cocktails.
Producer: Bodegas Martinez Lacuesta
Wine Grapes: N/A
Known Botanicals: at least 20, wormwood
Sugar: 104.5 g/l
Nose: cinnamon, raisin, orange, chamomile, vanilla, clove, pear, cognac, straw
Palate: cinnamon, raisin, honey, chamomile, lemon, vanilla, cinchona, ginger, licorice
Finish: cinnamon, raisin, honey, apple, vanilla, sea salt, wormwood
Additional Notes: Pale orange/deep straw yellow. A cinnamon/raisin bomb. Nice full body despite the low sugar content which technically places it in the semi-sweet category rather than sweet.
Wine Base: Palomino, Moscatel
Known Botanicals: 9 total, wormwood, chamomile, gentian, marjoram, orange peel, rosemary
Sugar: 144 g/l
Nose: mineralic, sage, sea salt, bark, oregano, raspberry, cinchona
Palate: hazelnut, blackberry, orange, spearmint, sea salt, nutmeg, lemon, vanilla
Finish: hazelnut, nutmeg, wormwood, vanilla, sea salt, blackberry
Additional Notes: Light straw yellow color. A blend of Fino sherry and Moscatel wine. Medium body. Bitter and nutty.
Wine Base: Palomino, Moscatel, Tintilla de Rota
Known Botanicals: at least 5, wormwood, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, chamomile
Sugar: 145.5 g/l
Nose: vanilla, thyme, oregano, cedar, sea salt, fig, raisin
Palate: vanilla, orange, strawberry, rose geranium, green cardamom, marzipan, cream, grapefruit
Finish: oregano, marjoram, vanilla, orange, strawberry, cream, rose geranium
Additional Notes: Rose-gold appearance. Vanilla through and through. Reminiscent of an orange creamsicle. A little dilution really helps bring the bitter notes out.
Producer: Mata, imported by Ole & Obrigado
Wine Base: Godello
Known Botanicals: at least 5 including wormwood, bitter orange, sage, thyme, star anise
Nose: tamarind, clove, orange, sea salt, vanilla, worshestershire
Palate: brown sugar, bananas foster, vanilla, cinchona, orange, fig
Finish: cinchona, vanilla, allspice, cacao, orange, strawberry
Additional Notes: Green tinted straw yellow. Medium body. Sweetened with grape must. Fortified with neutral grape distillate. Botanicals are macerated in base wine for 40 days before filtration and fortification.
Wine Base: N/A
Known Botanicals: at least 40, wormwood
Sugar: 126 g/l
Nose: clove, cinnamon, honey, orange, jasmine, baked apple, vanilla, gentian
Palate: baked apple, ginger, cinnamon, clove, gentian, cherry, orange, lemon, jasmine, honeysuckle
Finish: ginger, vanilla, orange, clove, allspice
Additional Notes: Light straw color. Claims to be the oldest vermouth producer in Spain. Mild, light body.
Producer: Vinos de Terruños
Wine Base: Muscat
Known Botanicals: wormwood
Nose: white grape, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, eucalyptus, forest floor
Palate: orange, green apple, pine, grapefruit, lavender, vanilla
Finish: wormwood, cinnamon, pear, grapefruit, orange
Additional Notes: Golden color. Very light body. Bitter, bright, and very acidic.
Notably missing: Miro Blanc. Will accept donations of any missing vermouths.
Check the individual regional Vermouth guides for more detailed information on regional styles and recommended bottles:
Sweet White Vermouth
Sweet Red Vermouth
Quinquina and Americano
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