Even though we are only two people in this company, our portfolio keeps growing due to the demand for interesting wines from different origins.
We are presented with many new wines and winemakers during wine fairs or via emails and phone calls. While we would love to introduce most of these wines to Mallorca's restaurants and the general public in the future, our capacity is currently stretched. And having to say no to the wineries that want to work with us is becoming increasingly difficult.
However, we are sometimes struck by some of the amazing wines we taste, and we cannot help but introduce them to our catalogue and let the product speak for itself.
Two very different projects will be the topic of this particular article. One is located here in Mallorca and the other comes from the Jumilla region on the mainland. They each have their differences. One is very new, and the other one is very old. The first one is run by foreigners, while the second one is run by locals. Yet both projects strive to focus on local grape varieties and produce organic and sustainable wines. Bravo to both of them.
First, we will talk about Can Gelat Ecological Estate, which is located between Selva and Moscari, here in Mallorca.
In 2020 we were invited to visit the Finca, view the young vineyards, and walk around the property whilst learning about the vision of the owners, Wim and Hilly Lochtenberg. Maurik, their son, very kindly gave us a tour of the estate and asked us questions about the Mallorcan wine industry. Maurik also explained that plans for Can Gelat include building a new winery on site and acquiring adjacent land that once belonged to the original owners.
Two years later, they have now started commercializing their wines, and after tasting them amongst their vines, we are excited to help the Lochtenberg family spread the word and introduce their wines to our clients and readers.
The wines, in our opinion, are special. Why? Well, because of what the vineyard of Can Gelat represents today and how it plans to develop over time.
What makes the wines special right now is the soil composition where the vines are grown. It has high limestone content, which is unusual for Mallorca. Also, their choice of grape varieties is a brave move. At the moment, all of the wines are heavily focused on local grapes such as Callet, Mantonegro, and Giró Ros.
Can Gelat is also special because of the way the vineyard has been integrated into the landscape, respecting the existence of forest areas, olive trees, and carob trees that were there long before the vines were planted. This combination of factors and the fact that they decided to get their wines certified as organic from day one make Can Gelat great today.
Can Gelat have all the ingredients to become one of the most amazing vineyards on the island in the future too. If the vines are nurtured well, we see them having tremendous value.
Their Giró Ros is one of the most complete white wines we have tried to date; their rosé wine aims high, and their unusual red blend of Callet and Mantonegro is subtle and elegant with low alcohol content, all you need in a modern red wine.
Moving to the southeast of mainland Spain, we will now talk about Bodegas Cerrón, a single-estate winery that is located in the village of Fuente Alamo, Jumilla. This is an area that has a reputation for heavy, oaky wines, with Monastrell as its flagship grape.
What makes Bodega Cerrón different from the rest of the wineries in this region is its history.
Carlos and Juanjo are now 4th generation winemakers and they have inherited the family legacy. They are the guardians of some of the oldest vines in the town of Fuente Alamo, some of which are phylloxera survivors. Also, their grandparents and great-grandparents planted un-grafted vines, a rare choice considering that particular moment in history, however, it is now paying off as these vines are now very difficult to find and are greatly valued by customers who are in the know.
All of these vines have been treated organically for a very long time. The fact that they sit at a height of 700 to 1000 metres above sea level also helps. The dry mountain air keeps fungi infections down to a minimum.
Carlos and Juanjo also have sheep and tend to other crops on their land. In addition, they make excellent and award-winning cheese. The combination of all these farming practices makes the use of biodynamic principles an easy choice here.
Bodegas Cerrón wines are divided into two categories, the Cerrón project, and the Stratum project.
We think the Cerrón range of wines is the best price-to-satisfaction ratio in Jumilla. They are delicate and sublime and move away from the overuse of oak barrels that is common in this region. It is somehow surprising to discover Monastrell wines that are delicate, and elegant, but with depth and fruit-forward flavours. Even the inclusion of some international grape varieties is managed tastefully, like a final brush of colour in a painting.
The Stratum range goes the extra mile. The grapes are picked from the best, oldest and highest vineyards belonging to Bodega Cerrón.
This collection of wines is the most looked after, in the fields and the winery.
Critics and customers love them, so the reduced number of bottles and the high demand make them hard to find.
To date, we have managed to enjoy a bottle of La Servil, Matas Altas (which we now sell online) and El Cerrico.
These are two wineries, in two different areas, that benefit from Mediterranean influences and the same wine-producing principles.
We can’t pick one favourite over another, so instead, we plan to enjoy a glass (or perhaps a bottle) of each!