BCN Vermut is an innovative new fortified wine from Catalonia, Spain. Unlike other mass-produced vermouths made with rancid or neutral wines, BCN Vermut uses premium quality old-vine white wine from Catalonia. For BCN Vermut, Norrel Robertson MW sources garnacha blanca from over 100-year-old vines in the historic Terra Alta region. This finicky grape often produces high-tannin wines that can begin to oxidize fairly quickly – both traits that make it a perfect base for vermouth maceration.
This base wine is macerated with fresh, carefully harvested Mediterranean botanicals, including cinnamon, clove, vanilla pods, rosemary, thyme, wild fennel, pine shoots, juniper berries, and laurel. During the three to nine-week maceration, daily tastings determine the exact moment when the flavors are fully developed. Separately, a base spirit of distilled grenache and carignan pomace is macerated for three to six weeks with orange peel, bergamot, and elderflower. An additional distillation captures these botanicals’ bright, fresh profile, allowing them to leap right out of the glass.
Once the infusion is complete, the wine is fortified with the aromatized distillate and judiciously sweetened with lightly caramelized sugar. They use a very sparing amount compared to what is customary for most vermouths, typically sweetened twice as much, resulting in a perfectly sippable 18% ABV. After fortifying, the vermouth sees a very light natural filtration through plant-fiber filters to remove any suspended particles.
Tasting Notes: A dynamic nose bursts with praline, orange zest, savory herbs, Madagascar vanilla, and well-integrated rancio aromas. The palate is full-bodied and supple, with a bright backbone of acidity and bitterness.
Pairing Notes: In true Spanish style, drink on the rocks with an olive or lemon peel garnish. BCN Vermut also makes a stunning cocktail component; try it in a full-bodied Martini variant, a Manhattan, or with BCN Gin for a surprising Negroni.