In recent years so much has been written about Mallorcan wine. No wonder. There are approximately 100 different wineries with many interpretations on a relatively small island. These wineries are using grape varieties with unpronounceable names, managing soil diversity and coping with varying climates, as well as having very different ideas about what a great wine should be.
For any visitor to the island it is becoming increasingly difficult to dig out the real jewels of the wine world scattered around Mallorca. However, if you keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground you will be surprised by what this little corner of the Mediterranean can offer.
Some people think Mallorcan wine is bad and expensive. Only one of these two statements is relatively true. Wine from Mallorca is more expensive than wine made on the mainland. Small productions often picked by hand, little or no machinery used to keep costs down, and no manufacturing of bottles or cork on the island are all factors that add up to the final price. But the very dedicated and imaginative wine growers and makers on the island do have a fantastic product in their hands. In one word, 'Singular' is how I would describe Mallorcan wine.
The quality of the final product has done nothing but rise in the last few years. So, if you think that wine produced here has no room in your glass, well you are missing out on some real gems.
Below are a few hints on what to look for when confronted with a wine menu that includes Mallorcan wines:
- When looking for a white wine, PRENSAL BLANC is the grape variety you will find cropping up the most. This is often blended with Chardonnay (now not so appreciated by the stiff nosed critics), but don’t be put off by this as they combine magically. Otherwise, look out for the younger wineries who make wines that are 100% Prensal. They seem to create the freshest versions.
- Another tip, keep a look out for the not so renowned Giró Ros, especially if it’s not blended.
- The popularity of rosé wine is continually moving upwards. With an increase of about 18% year on year, wine producers are now giving a lot more attention to rosé than previously. Here you can find great rosé wines using the local Mantonegro grape. I find them round, fresh and delicate. Some rosé wines are also made with Callet, and a lot of them are fruity blends that will delight your senses whilst you sun yourself by the pool.
Just be open to anything, there is more than just Provence or 'blush'…
- When it comes to red wine the choice is much more vast. The already mentioned MANTONEGRO and CALLET grapes take the main stage and coexist with many other varieties from all over, such as French Syrah (or Shiraz), the very Spanish Tempranillo or even Monastrell.
Most blends are great when made well. The addition of more familiar grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot add some more backbone and longevity to the wine.
It is not so easy to find a Mallorcan single variety red, but if you come across one, give it a try, they are normally smooth, delicate and ready to drink and enjoy immediately. Also, keep an eye out for the nearly extinct Gorgollassa or the juicy Fogoneu. These are a real treat!!
Below I have included some of my favourite wines on the island, steering away from orange labels, catchy names and the more obvious choices:
15 Mil Gotes Prensal Blanc (Vinamica)
Nounat (Bodegas Binigrau)
Capgiro (Can Majoral)
Xanet Rosé (Can Xanet)
Ribas Rosat (Ribas)
Gargo (Selva Vins)
Son Vell (Son Vell vinyes i vi)
OM 500 (Oliver Moragues)
Grand Veran (Bodegas Biniagual)
Forget about pearls, these are the real jewels on the island.