Vi dolc – dessert wine — is wine that contains a high sugar level in the Mosto (definition) ya que la levadura no tiene la capacidad de transformar el azúcar. There are different types of dessert wines which are divided by their sugar content: semiseco, dulce, licoroso, generoso, etc. Depending on the pproduction method, mistela or vino licoroso can be made, which consists of adding alcohol to the mosto while it’s in going through the fermentation process. Different types are also divided by alcohol level, as follows:
- Vino dulce natural: Comes from mosto that has also only been partially fermented due to its high sugar content. 8% alcohol.
- Vinos licorosos: Between 13.5 y 23% alcohol content. The alcohol content is mainly natural but sometimes alcohol is added. Sugar varies depending on the grape, but ranges from 50 g/l to 100g/liter.
- Mistelas: Mostos that have added wine-based alcohol to impede the natural fermentation process. Alcohol content between 13 and 23 %. Minimum of 80 g/liter of sugar.
The type of grape most commonly used in the production of vi dolc is Moscatel, an aromatic white grape variety which is the base for very unique wines. Moscatel has a citric aroma, with peach, ginger, tropical fruit and floral notes. It is grown all over the Mediterranean and needs a lot of sun and sea humidity. It’s common to add alcohol to Moscatel-based wines.
Among Catalan dessert wines, some of the best are the mistelas of Vinos Piñol (photo above) from the Terra Alta D.O. These wines are made with Syrah and Garnacha grapes and have intense fruit flavors and aroma.Estos vinos tienen una gran intensidad de fruta y aroma.
The Penedés D.O. produces some excellent dessert wines such as Dolc Adria, which boasts preferct aging aging and boldness, accompanies by fresh, spicy notes. Another great Penedés is Malvasía de Sitges, which has great body and honey and date aroma. Gra a Gra, also from Penedés, is slightly acidic with a strong tropical fruit and derb aroma, and an interesting faintly oily texture.