Dry white wine

Enologically speaking, we refer to a wine as being a dry white wine when we want to say that there is no sugar present in it or that the presence of sugar is almost nil.  However, more colloquially the expression takes on another meaning.

So, what are we referring to when we talk about a dry white wine? ‘Dry white wine’ is a statement that we usually contrast with that of ‘fruity white wine’. In dry white wines the aromas that predominate can be part of the floral, vegetable, mineral, lactic, creamy, honeyed group … These can range from honeysuckle, jasmine, linden, rose, hay, cut grass … to corn, yogurt, butter, even flint, kerosene or rubber! Aromas that are far from the pineapple, pear, apple, papaya, etc. that we mentioned in the previous post about fruity white wine.

Dry white wine

The origin of these aromas can be diverse. The factors that will make a white wine a dry white wine are going to be first of all the variety, secondly the winemaking techniques used to produce it, and thirdly the ageing to which the wine has been subjected.

Some white varieties such as Macabeo, Xarel·lo, Txacolí, Garnacha Blanca, Airén or Verdejo are ones that we could consider as being neutral, and that their own or endogenous aromas are not fruity.

Secondly, it is during vinification, and, depending on the variety, in pre-fermentation macerations, when the most herbaceous aromas (pepper, truffle, thyme etc.), floral aromas (jasmine, honeysuckle, rose, etc.), mineral aromas (iodine, oil) and certain spicy aromas (pepper, cardamom, etc.) appear. Then, during the fermentation we get the aromas of yeast, biscuit, creams, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.

Lastly, during ageing floral and vegetable aromas are also generated, plus woody, toasted and balsamic aromas, and certain mineral ones or confectionery ones like musk, honey or beeswax.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

From the first category, those with vegetal and floral touches, we could find Miranius, a biodynamic wine by Celler Credo made in the Penedés.

Other examples, these with more creamy or bakery aromas would be Flow Blanco, a Cariñena Blanca and Picapoll Blanc from D.O. Empordà made by Bodega Sota els Àngels, and a Macabeo from D.O.Ca Rioja, Honorio Rubio Lías Finas from Honoro Rubio.

A dry white wine whose aromas mainly originate during ageing would be Viña Gravonia from the Viña Tondonia winery. A classic from La Rioja that has spent 48 months in barrels, and in which its aromas of honey, nuts and certain touches of hydrocarbons stand out.

What do you think? Would you like to discover these aromas in your next white wines?

  • Miranius 2017

    White wine Young Biodynamic. Winery: Celler Credo. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Macabeo and Xarel·lo.

    9,35 $
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  • Honorio Rubio Lías Finas 2014

    White wine Aged on its lees. Winery: Honorio Rubio. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Viura

    13,41 $
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  • Viña Gravonia 2010

    White wine Crianza. 48 months in oak barrels. Winery: Viña Tondonia. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Variety: Viura

    18,38 $
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