Vins Ca’n Novell Visit

“Authentic Mallorcan wine, good quality everyone can afford.”

Vins Can Novell logo

(Currently No Website)
+34 971 51.13.10
Binissalem, Mallorca Spain

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Inconspicuously situated on a small urban street in the heart of Binissalem, entering Vins Ca’n Novell is like going back in time to when locals and expats came from all over the island to refill bottles and stock up on wine for their meals. Ancient and enormous wooden casks line the back wall, wine-soaked and full of bulk wine on tap. Also for sale, old-fashioned multi-liter glass bottles with rubber baskets are available so you can reuse instead of wasting or recycling! Vins Ca’n Novell also has sealed bottle production of their wines, with 12 different labels; and tastings are available here too. This bodega is over 100 years old that they know of, with a current astonishing production of around 100,000 bottles per year. They are located not far from the larger José Ferrer and Tianna Negre wineries, but Vins Ca’n Novell is a blast from the Mallorcan past in comparison!  They seem not to be a part of the D.O. Binissalem – they were here before it existed and are conducting business as usual!

Without Origin...and what?Translation: A great wine without Denomination of Origen…and so what?

Hot and coming from a tasting, we went in search of water in Binissalem and stumbled onto Vins Ca’n Novell. In the short time that we were there, village people came by moped, bike, or car to pick up their daily wine. Standing wide eyed, we were greeted by a man as he rushed past us, full of smiles and life. “Have you been helped?” he called. It was none other than owner Andreu Villalonga. We excitedly asked for a tasting and a short tour – we were cutting it close with our next tasting scheduled in ½ hour; Andreu was in a hurry too, and jumped immediately into talking with passion about his wine! He showed us all the 12 different wines he makes on the display table, and then without hesitation went into the refrigerator and happily exclaimed “Let’s try the white!” We loved it! Then he asked us what we thought the price was…and to our surprise! Very few Euros!! Great wine at an incredible price!

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Lovely to see such enthusiasm, Andreu was bubbling with enjoyment for Mallorcan wine. He told us that the majority of his wines are made with local grapes, and showed us that all the labels are in Mallorquin – like the Chardonnay labeled Xardoné (the x in Mallorquin is pronounced like the ch in English). So special! Fourth generation in this family, Andreu told us he was unable to actually stop work and tour us, yet he opened several bottles and poured splashes into lovely tiny bar glasses, and then ran us around the operational back introducing us to all! Andreu told us that their “de granel” = “bulk wine” is the same quality and taste as that wine when bottled.

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Quickly we were whisked along into the back rooms where bottles were being cleaned and labeled, vans were loading, work in progress! Andreu told us that they box and store the cases of bottles at controlled temperature, allowing aging there, and never sell a case before its time.  He introduced us to a pair of men waiting patiently for him. One of them was a Friar here to return empty bottles. This winery reuses all the bottles you bring back, at the time of this writing: 1 Euro for 12 bottles! That is incredible considering that at the time of this writing, their wines are all well under ten Euros/bottle!  Andreu buys the bottles, cleans and reuses them, rather than buying new or recycling the glass, which he says makes the most sense to keep costs and waste down – and 300 Colombian kids eat because of this Friar’s return efforts! Kindness and environmental awareness in action, beautiful!

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In the far back of the sprawling building, we came to what is probably the formal entrance and office area. Cool, quiet, with beautiful stone floors, antique winemaking tools stand on display beside an enormous 200 year old olive wood cask that was still used for bulk wine until just recently. Here Andreu told us they had a huge tour of young Americans coming that weekend and he would feed them and pair his wines out at their nearby vineyard, then bring them back there for a tour. He said it would be a really fun group and he was looking forward to it. His joy was contagious. He invited us to join them, but stupidly neither of us managed to get away from real-life that day. Now we’re thinking we need our heads examined!

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Bubbling with passion
for his work
their wine
the vines
Wine for the people!

Vins Ca’n Novell is both funky and pretty, functioning and hopping. It’s a bodega with your daily table wine, made by locals and for everyone’s table! Come one, come all!

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Directions:Vins Can Novell map
When you get to Binissalem on the old Inca/Palma road, at the streetlight, turn towards the city center following the city center sign. This is the street that leads you directly to the plaza with the church on it. About three quarters of the way into the city center you will see the bodega on your right. Ca’n Novell!

See Wines Tasted at Vins Ca’n Novell: Click Here

### Vins Ca’n Novell ###

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Vins Ca’n Novell Tasting

Vins Can Novell logo

Wines Tasted:

◊   2 Whites   ◊

Xardone 2014
Es Vermadors

   ◊   1 Rosé   ◊

Es Vermadors

◊   1 Red   ◊

É Roure

Vins Ca'n Novell

Vins Ca’n Novell is Mallorca Profunda – authentic Mallorca! They have stuck to tradition and kept prices down. Their wines are excellent for their prices. You can fill up the bottles from your house, or come and buy a bottle from them. Both options are economical and delightful to drink. In keeping with their love of tradition, the majority of their wines are made with local grapes. How lovely to see enthusiasm for tradition. Vins Ca’n Novell and Andreu are bubbling with enjoyment for Mallorca and Mallorcan wine.


#1
Xardoné
Grapes: Chardonnay

Vins Ca'n Novell_Xardoné

Comments:
Tawnee: This Chardonnay is one of the better ones on the island! It didn’t have the unpleasant finish that I do not like in a Chardonnay. Perhaps my search has found a winner! Additionally, it is unbeatable at Ca’n Novell prices! Happy taste buds and happy wallet = happy Tawnee. Enjoyable anywhere, it is fresh and pleasant for a hot summer day.

Merie: The first splash from the Xardoné (Mallorcan for Chardonnay of course) was tasty!  Using 100% Chardonnay grapes it is a “vino jovenes” a young wine, so no Oak and going straight form stainless to bottle; fresh and appetizing with just the right amount of tartness to make the mouth water on a hot day.


#2
Es Vermadors Blanc
Grapes: Prensal Blanc

Vins Ca'n Novell_Es Vermadors Blanc
Comments:
Tawnee: I am beginning to appreciate this grape. It is fresh and delightful in the mouth. A delicious addition to summer salad, or paired with zesty chicken.

Merie: Es Vermadors’ Prensal Blanc grapes are also known as Moll grapes in Mallorcan. This is a nice light and refreshing wine. It has slightly more white-fruit notes than Chardonnay, but is not sweet.


#3
Es Vermadors Rosé
Grapes: Manto Negro
Callet

Vins Ca'n Novell_Es Vermadors Rosé

Comments:
Tawnee: An authentic Mallorcan wine with Manto Negro and Callet grapes. This is a very distinct rosé. Perhaps my love of the Chardonnay made me not enjoy it as much as I could have. The name from this line from Ca’n Novell is Es Vermadors – in Mallorcan, a Vermador is a person who picks the grapes during harvest season; a fitting name for an authentic Mallorcan wine!

Merie: Es Vermadors Rosé is a blend from two local red grapes, Manto Negro and Callet. This wine is a testament to the quality of these grapes, which are often supported by foreign varietals! Very refreshing and appetizing!


#4
É Roure
Grapes: Merlot
Syrah

Vins Ca'n Novell_é Roure

Comments:
Tawnee: An instant buy to try at home. This was written in the Mallorcan ABC magazine as Vins Ca’n Novell’s best wine, and I had to try it, it being their best and most expensive yet so reasonably priced – it was a no-brainer. I served it on my terrace one late afternoon. It held its own and was very enjoyable.

Merie: Andreu apologized that he didn’t have enough bottles left in stock to open one that late in the day for two people, so we didn’t try it in the tasting. He showed us a review in a magazine featuring the best of Mallorca, and it called this wine worth five times the price! So, untasted we each bought a bottle!  Andreu said not to let it get too warm, to “drink it a little fresh.” Oops, I opened it at an outdoor lunch in a heat wave after a bottle of chilled Son Vives Juxta Mar — and I loved it! My husband didn’t. However he had it again that evening with steak and said that after breathing, and with red meat, it was wonderful. It is the kind of hearty, rich red I live for.


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Thank you Andreu!

Please see Ca’n Novell Visit: Click Here

### Vins Ca’n Novell ###

Bodegas Angel Winery Visit

Where passion and expertise meet – consistently dry wines to the owner’s taste.”

Angel Bodega logo
+ 34 971 621 638
www.vinosangel.com
Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca Spain

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Owner Andreas Gelabert told us from the beginning that he had very specific ideas about how he wanted to make his wine.  He  looked a long time to find the perfect location to build Bodegas Ángel. Having found it here in the island’s most competitive wine region, he boldly decided not to join the local Binissalem Denomination of Origin because of the restrictive guidelines.  Instead, he elected simply to be a member of the island-wide organization Vi de la Terra Mallorca [wines from the soil/terroir of Mallorca], which allows for more freedom of grape choice. All of the wines he produces are dry, to his personal taste. The winery owns 17.5 hectares of vineyards, and the oldest vines were planted in 1960 on land Andreas bought. He planted new vines in 2006 and 2007, and Bodegas Ángel opened in 2008, which is also the year of their 1st vintage. This year they produced almost 200,000 bottles, including two whites, one rosé, and six reds. The lines are: Angel, Sa Bassetta (which is the name of the vineyard with the oldest vines), and Specialty releases.

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Tawnee was working the hands-free phone in the car to find which wineries in our area were open and accepting tasters. She had wanted to go to Ángel for a long time and luckily, they were open. However, when we got there, owner Andreas Gelabert (not related to the Manacor Gelaberts) was exhausted. He had endured a morning of tour buses and there were empty wine glasses all over the counter and tasting room. He said he couldn’t give us the tour, but if we wanted to hang out with him while he loaded the dishwasher, he’d give us a tasting. We love the individuality of all our tasting experiences!

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The winery name ÁNGEL comes from his names ANdreas GELabert, and he said he came up with it in one of the thousands of hours he spent on his tractor preparing the vineyard. Ingenious! And nicely translatable in both English and Spanish: An angel spirit in both languages, as well as a common first name in Spanish. It is a perfect blend of who he is and what he stands for. Tall and solidly built, Andreas is Mallorcan, yet speaks English fluently. We started the tasting in Spanish and when he heard we were conversing in English – he said “Want to do this in English?” in a startlingly perfect American accent! It turns out he went to school in Texas and California and loved it! In California, a distributor friend dropped off a few cases of different wines at his house one weekend, and with an inquisitive mind he started tasting, and comparing; and the rest is history: He began his understanding of wine by self-educating – like us!

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Andreas started the bodega from personal interest and has a lot to show for it; his intent and interest are palpable from architecture to aroma. His passion is for dry wine, so Andreas is very careful with full yeast fermentation, allowing no residual sugars in the finish. He is refining his wine selection to make only what he considers to be very good wine; so whereas in 2014 he had three whites, this year he produced only two. He pays attention to detail and is willing to sacrifice for perfection… and one feels the nice mix of old world and new world in his character and this bodega. About returning here to start his winery, Andreas said simply “Mallorcan’s always come back. There is nowhere better.” Living in California with the wine hype probably added to his passion for wine at a young age, because it was there that he decided to make a real go at wine making; not everyone can do it and be successful! He received his BA degree in Business, not Oncology, which we are sure helps in his business model and the success of Ángel. There are definitely American notes to all that he has done!

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While pouring, Andreas shared a lot. He told us that Manto Negro grapes give raspberry notes. The local red earth, “Call Vermell” is rich in iron oxide, which contributes to the earthy notes. French Oak is used for notes of chocolate and coffee, while American Oak lends vanilla. This year American Oak was harder to get because the bourbon industry changed their regulations and bought all new barrels, thus reducing supplies drastically.  At Ángel they use 50% American Oak and 50% French Oak. However, Andres said he loves American Oak and purposefully uses it for the vanilla flavors it brings. We are guessing his palate was formed on California wines – and we love that he purposefully brings a little American taste to the island! Finishing up his dishes, and pouring our last tasting, he told us that that most of his local clients are German, English, and Swedish expatriates, and most of the tourists are Scandinavian and German. As evidenced by the large, elegant facility, he clearly has a great business mind as well as a very good palate!

Friday afternoon, sun beating down.
Should be going to the beach, but the Wine Trail is calling
A true Friday arrives in the face of the owner
Dry wines on the humid island
Divine.

Leaving with bottles in hand to take home, we noticed a single outdoor table set for lunch – and realized sorrowfully that as late as it was, we had been keeping him from his mid-day meal! What a fine gentleman and vintner. And of course, we are already planning to go back again and get a full tour of the beautiful facilities… and looking forward to another great day on our Mallorcan Wine Trail!

Mallorca Wine Trail

Directions:Bodega Angel Map
When you come off the highway- Palma-Alcudia. Take the Exit for Santa Maria/Santa Eugenia. Go in direction of Santa Eugenia. It is on this main road the right hand side coming from Palma and going in direction Santa Eugenia. You can not miss the sign or the beautiful building.

See Wines Tasted at Bodega Angel: Click Here

###   Bodegas Ángel Visit  ###

Bodegas Ángel Wines Tasting

Angel Bodega logo

Wines Tasted

◊   2 White   ◊

Blanc de Blanca 2014
Viogner 2013

◊   1 Rose   ◊

Lua Rosa 2014

◊   2 Red   ◊

Syrah 2010
Cabernet Sauvignon 2011


Bodegas Ángel  has a passion for perfection and the recipe to find it.  The wine is a beautiful mix of Mallorcan terroir with an American style ingenuity, inspired from the owner’s many years lived in California.  Dry wine is their forté, and they do it well!


 #1
Blanc de Blanca
Grapes: Chardonnay
Prensal Blanc

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Comments:
Tawnee: An excellent wine. Golden in glass – it has a subtle flavor of fruits and is very fresh. There is a dry finish. Crisp and good. It would be an excellent combination with a salad lunch on the patio or with ceviche on the beach.

Merie: We started with the Blanc de Blanca, 12% alcohol by volume, made from Prensal Blanc, Chardonnay, and starting this year with Viognier grapes. The aroma is fresh, light fruit and raisin, the taste bright, yet perhaps a tad tart… with both the whites we tasted, the grapes are carefully separated from the stems before being pressed to ensure purity of fruit flavor.


#2
Viognier
Grapes: Viognier 100%

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Comments:
Tawnee: A white in oak – balanced and with character. A great wine to enjoy with a Paella on the beach.

Merie: Next we tried the 100% Viognier. It is 13% alcohol by volume, both oak and bottle aged. It was lovely with a mellow, balanced scent, and a gorgeous dry finish often not found with Viognier.


#3
Lau Rosa
Grapes: Merlot 75%
Manto Negro 25%

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Comments:
Tawnee: The best rosé on island! An almost salmon color – it has an excellent fruity nose with strawberry flavors and a dry finish. It would combine excellently with fish – a delicious addition to a summer meal.

Merie: On to the Rosé, which is 14.5% alcohol by volume. Here too the grapes are de-stemmed before pressing. In 2014 it is 75% Merlot and 25% Manto Negro grape. It is dryer than many Rosé wines in a truly great way, one of the best I’ve had. It is fermented in French oak at least four months until dry, purposefully avoiding residual sugars often found in Rosés. It has a fresh aroma of strawberry, and strawberry notes were also found in the flavor: a nice constancy!


#4
Syrah
Grapes: Syrah 100%

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Comments:
Tawnee: I always love the 100% wines as I can really begin to understand how the grape is supposed to taste. A solid wine – violet and expressive with subtle notes of berries. The hints of berry sweetness is contrasted beautifully with the dry ending.

Merie: Still clearing glasses from the previous tour, Andreas next poured the Syrah 2010. It is 13.5% alcohol by volume with wonderful aromas and flavors of dark and wild berry. As Andreas put it, the fruit notes are “expressive but not sweet.” It is aged one year in both French and American oak, and then held a minimum of one year in bottle.


#5
Cabernet Sauvignon
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 100%

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Comments:
Tawnee: I love a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon! An intense experience with a solid chocolate finish. It was very silky in the mouth. An excellent pairing for sobrassada, the traditional cured meat made on the island, which can be spicy or not. 

Merie: Lastly, Andreas opened a new bottle and poured his Cabernet 2011.   14% alcohol by volume it is perfectly dry. I am reminded that in Mallorca many red wines are 14% alcohol because the sweeter the grapes are at harvest in this sunny climate, the longer it takes to ferment out the sugars, and the more alcohol is generated.  Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, this wine was aged one year in French Oak only, and the associated rich aromas are satisfyingly balanced in this super dark berry wine. I bought a bottle and was even more impressed when I drank it at home. I would buy a case without hesitating.


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Thank you Andreas!

Please see Bodegas Ángel Visit: Click Here

### Bodegas Ángel  ###

ANA Vins Winery Visit

“Simplicity, four excellent wines give this charming young winery a stable foundation.”

Ana Vins
+34 605.28.36.85
www.ana-vins.com
[In German only at the time of this writing]
Binissalem, Mallorca Spain

Ana Vins Winery

Celebrating the Mallorcan soil and unique local wine culture, Bodega ANA Vins specializes in native grapes, with northern varieties used in lesser percentages for structure and color. ANA is a young winery, started in 2010 with established, twenty year old vines. They now produce 55,000 to 57,000 bottles each year, mainly reds, and place great emphasis on giving the local varietals priority to capture the character of this island. They sell all they produce to their clientele on island, not aiming for an export market.  ANA Vins is not part of the local D.O. Binissalem, but is part of the local organization Vi de la Terra. German owned and financed, they started this winery because of a love for the local wines and island! Surely over many good bottles of local wine, the owners brainstormed with Mallorcan Francisco Pol Arrom who is experienced in the local Hospitality industry, and a young oenologist Tomeo Llabres; and ANA Vins was born.

Ana Vins

Why is it always the end of the day on Friday in this Blog??? It must be when we do our best work! We were driving around in the area late Friday afternoon, on a lovely lane in the middle of the countryside just outside of Binissalem, and we came across the yellow marker of ANA Vins. So we called to see if we could visit, and the answer was SURE!!; and an appointment made for 45 minutes from then. We drove through the vineyards as we approached newly constructed buildings set beautifully against their backing of vineyards and the Southern face of the Tramuntana mountains. Out popped a man’s head! Hello – we are here! It was the affable, knowledgeable, and multilingual Francisco Pol Arrom. He introduced himself as Xisco, and so it was!

Ana Vins tasting room

The three of us were sweating in the relentless heat, so we went straight to the cool tasting room for refreshment. Please see our tasting notes for facts, but of course we chatted while we tasted! Pouring their gorgeous, chilled Rosé, Xisco commented that at ANA Vins they are very particular with their maceration of each wine in order to get the exact color they desire. The display must be as appetizing as the aromas and flavors. Of course Rosé wines have a much shorter time in maceration than reds = sitting with their skins and seeds less time to catch only a flush of pink, and to avoid the level of tannins associated with good red structure. That, combined with the terroir of the limestone soil mixed with the local red earth (Call Vermell), make the unique attributes of a good Mallorcan wine.

Ana Vins Seleccio

We found that their red Selecció wine improved as it opened in our glasses, so we did a little research on why wines like to breathe. Most reds improve with a little aeration, because as the oxygen reaches the freshly opened bottle, the wine naturally settles into its true flavors and the tannins mellow. The wine comes into its own, and shouldn’t be judged until it has breathed sufficiently. Some people just open the bottle and let it sit awhile, others use a wide mouth decanter to speed up the process, or wide mouth glasses and swirling the wine to aerate it quickly.

Talking about their reds, Xisco said knowingly “Manto Negro is the grape of the land and loves cheese.” Warms the heart. Unlike many other wineries, both of the reds at ANA Vins included noticeable percentages of the Tempranillo grape. This is only the second winery we’ve visited on island where they have mentioned Tempranillo. It is such a staple Spanish variety, a signature grape on the mainland, but it seems almost rare on island so far…

Ana Vins thinking

We talked a bit about aroma vs taste consistencies. The ANA Vins Blanc barely had aroma, then tasted full and delicious. The Negre aromas were amazing, and it tasted really good, yet totally different from the scent. When we breathe in a wine and enjoy the aromas, we instinctively want the flavor to match it. It seems we must learn to enjoy the aromas for what they are, then on a separate subject, assess the flavors. Do vintners ever strive for homogeneous scent and flavor as an asset?

Ana Vins Barrels

As he poured, Xisco told us that ANA Vins prefers French oak. They find it rounder and fuller, and he said the American oak affects the tannins too much because the wood is younger – young oak is full of young tannins like young grape seeds. He also told us that they cut their first grapes in August, carefully looking for what is ready before September, the normal harvest season.

Ana Vins

After a very satisfying tasting, Xisco gave us the tour of the Winery. It was a ghost town at that hour on an early Friday evening, and fun to explore in the quiet. All was clean, new, and well organized. All production is done there on premise.

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It is beautifully laid out, from pressing to storage to barrel, bottling and labeling. The interesting thing that we noticed is that they efficiently store their bottles already packaged and boxed for the time that they age. The majority of the other bodegas we’ve seen store their bottles without label, and then clean and label before boxing and selling.

Ana Vins

We learned that Xisco is a man of many hats. He is the legs and heart of the bodega physically. We love to see such happiness in work. He told us the name ANA was chosen by one of the owners who has a daughter or a granddaughter named Ana; love the tradition of naming after the women! Xisco told us they also work with a Swiss chocolatier who combines chocolate with their wines – an experience we would like to try.

Ana Vins

We drove away happy and so enjoying this continued adventure. ANA Vins is a lovely winery with very good wines, and we do recommend it as a tasting destination on our MallorcaWine Trail!

Ana Vins Winery

Directions:Ana Vins Map
From Binissalem you take the road going towards Binali. There is a stop light at this intersection, so it is easier to notice. When you reach the Cami de Muro there will be a small white sign for this- it is the cross street. You will also see a yellow sign for ANA Vins. Take a right and follow for about 300m and there will be the bodega entrance on your right.

### BODEGA ANA VINS ###
See Wines Tasted at Ana Vins: Click Here

ANA Vins Wine Tasting

Ana Vins
Wines Tasted:

◊   1 White   ◊

Blanc 2012

◊   1 Rose   ◊

Rosat 2014

◊   2 Reds   ◊

Negre
Selecció

Ana wine Mallorca

We love the simplicity of ANA Vins – four wines. A White, Rosé, Red and special red, all called by their Mallorcan color names; Blanc, Rosat, Negre and Selecció. The normal red and special red are made with the same grapes, but with different percentages and different aging time in French Oak. The bodega is relatively new, and they are working hard to preserve the work they have done. The tasting room is in a beautiful country room with a wooden round table. Perfect for a lengthy conversation over a good wine.


#1
Blanc 2012

Grapes: Prensal Blanc
Chardonnay
Muscatel

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Comments:
Tawnee: The color is a delicate yellow, like dry straw. This is a fruity wine. Fresh and clean. Incredibly, it smells just like it tastes – A first on our Mallorcan Wine Trail! I can see why it was sold out. It would be great with fresh oysters.

Merie: Next Francisco opened a new, chilled bottle of the Blanc 2012 for us, made from Prensal Blanc, Chardonnay, and Muscatel grapes. Interestingly, it had very subtle aroma and then bold flavor! I have not encountered that yet!


#2
Rosat 2014

Grapes: Manto Negro 50%
Callet
Merlot
Syrah

Ana Vins #06 c

Comment:
Tawnee: The color is a very soft red. It matches the delicacy of the taste. Made similar to the wine I really liked in Ca’n Pico where the grapes were pressed and then put inside at a cool temperature and they then removed the grapes and seeds fairly quickly allowing for a very clean crisp wine. This process is called Baja Magracion. This wine is very floral and is wonderful because it tastes just as good as it smells. It would be excellent chilled on the patio in the early afternoon.

Merie: We started with the Rosé, a first for us as every other tasting experience has started with their dry white and moved through rosé to reds. This wine is 50% Monte Negro, then a mix of Callet, Merlot, and Syrah. It has extremely inviting color and aroma, light fruit notes, and is satisfyingly dry. A very good rosé!


#3
Negre

Grapes: Manto Negro 35%
Syrah 10%
Callet
Cabernet Sauvignon
Tempranillo

Negre

Comments:
Tawnee:
This coupage is beautiful – both in color and in taste. It is a mix of native Mallorcan grapes and classic grapes. It is a very easy wine to drink full of red berries and a small hint of spice. Perfect for pork chops with a light gravy or turkey.

Merie: Next came the red/Negre. Aged in French oak, the aroma tempted with chocolate and raisin scents. Xisco called it joven = young, because it only had one year in oak barrel – but in our experience most people call a no-barrel wine young. The grapes are 35% Manto Negro, 10% Syrah, then a mix of Callet, Cabernet, and Tempranillo. There was also light raisin in the flavor, in a surprisingly nice, dry way!


#4
Selecci
ó
Grapes: Manto Negro 42%
Cabernet Sauvignon
Syrah
Tempranillo

Seleccio Negre

Comments:
Tawnee: I love that this winery is using Tempranillo that I have tasted a wine made with Tempranillo. I have not come across it here on the island very much. A beautiful bold red. It is incredible to see what the difference a few subtle differences in proportions of grapes and time in oak can make to a wine. This would be great beside the roaring fire with some cheese, cold cuts and crackers.

Merie: Our last taste was the Selecció. Made from the same grapes as the Negre, in different proportions, and aged longer. With 42% Manto Negro it is aged 2 years in French oak barrels. The aroma was great, and the wine flavors very parallel to the aroma once it opened a bit in glass. The color is deep ruby. Xisco called the taste “suave,” and said “Tiene cuerpo.” Have your dictionary? Suave means soft, and tiene cuerpo means full bodied.


Ana Vins Xisco

Thank You Xisco!

Please see ANA Vins Visit: Click Here

### BODEGA ANA VINS ###

Pere Seda Winery Visit

“Industrious winery emphasizes local grapes at peoples’ prices.”

Pere Seda Logo
+34 971 55.02.19
http://www.pereseda.com

Manacor, Mallorca Spain

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Over a century ago, Señor Pere Seda (Pedro Reus Morro 1886-1942) had vineyards in the Manacor area of Mallorca. This winery was founded by, and named after him. The Winery Pere Seda is a family run business (the same family since the beginning), and now produces 600,000 bottles per year. Yes, that’s right, a huge enterprise. And all production is done at their site in Manacor – from grape crates to shipping boxes. With over 100 hectares of local vineyards, they are in the D.O. Pla i Llevant, and are the biggest winery there. They use all natural cork, and sell young white, rosé and reds, Crianza and Reserva reds, and Cava (sparkling wine). Their grapes are Callet, Manto Negro and Prensal, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Parellada, Macabeo, Muscatel and Chardonnay.

A little about the name: Pere is Mallorcan for Peter, and Seda means silk. Seda was perhaps his ‘mal nombre’ or ‘apodo’,  something similar to a family nickname. These ‘nicknames’ are very common here, and often a person is only known by that. The tradition here is to name children after the grandparents’ first names (and wines too we’ve learned!), so a big family could have many Peres, which gets confusing. Hence the “mal nombre.”

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Massive steel tanks greeted us as we entered the gate, and instantly it was like we were in an Industrial Revolution era bottling plant.  Big time operations call for big-time production. With no sign of tourism or classic Mallorcan architectural detail, this winery was all business. Hearing and seeing activity, we walked into the bottling area and watched the production line of gorgeously backlit rosé being bottled and boxed. The workers looked at us, but nobody approached us… Not their job. We wandered around alone for a while, and finally stopped a man on a loader who went and found our man Tofol (short for Christobal, or Christopher in English). Greeting us quizzically, it felt like we caught him off guard, and we guessed they don’t have many drop-ins! He was very gracious and thorough during our tour and tasting, yet we kept feeling like he needed to be somewhere else, and didn’t quite understand why we were there… Self-education!

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Getting the tour, everything was vast and well organized for maximum production value. The bottling, sealing, and labeling machines were gigantic and loud, the fermenting tanks towering and many: Row upon row, steel and wooden…but enormous wooden like from the past…and still in use. We haven’t seen anything like these at other wineries, big or small. Writing this, we are curious how long these permanent tanks have been in use, and what the wine tastes like that is fermented in these instead of steel… must go back and ask!

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Tofol explained that the Pere Seda Winery has become so big that they don’t fit into the buildings any longer; with newer and multi-story tanks outside and behind the place just to keep up with demand. This was by far the most industrial bodega that we have been to, and it was fascinating to see such industry all for our delicate friend – wine! Funny how you see a bottle of wine on the shelf at a store, and never wonder what its childhood was like.  Now we know!

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Then Tofol took us downstairs to the aging area and suddenly we were in another world. The wonderfully cool barrel rooms, long halls and endless dim tunnels, felt like vast catacombs. Room after cistern-like room of old fermentation chambers now housed bottles resting and coming to age. We had seen this before at Ribas and even Miquel Gelabert, but not on this scale!

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It was incredible that hidden under the loud, big industry above, lay this labyrinth of small cellars and secret passages. Walking through these Tofol described their lines of wine:

  • L’Arxiduc – Blends from local and foreign grapes.
  • Mossèn Alcover and GVIVM – 2 variety blends from old growth vines and oak fermented
  • Crianza and Reserva – American oak fermented
  • Novell – That year’s vintage
  • Chardonnay – 100%: one label aged in French oak and one straight to bottle.
  • Sparkling – Cava with 2nd fermentation in the bottle

Pere Seda is one of the few Mallorcan wineries to make a Cava, Jose Ferrer being another.  We look forward to trying it!

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Ending the tour we were rewarded with a tasting in their reception salon. Standing in the baking summer sun, Tofol opened the anonymous door – and we were greeted by cool air and a beautiful ambiance of high ceilings, oak barrels, and glass tabletops. Here was the Mallorcan style we’d been missing! A small group with a distributor were there in a meeting, but we were granted a tasting anyways – lucky us!

Bottles clanking in line
Serene catacombs below
Ambiance-rich tasting room
Industrious, yet local

We’re sure a reservation was a courtesy we owed Tofol, but he rose to the occasion and gave us a great tasting. Please see our Pere Seda Tasting Notes for wines tasted.

Directions:Pere Seda Map
When you arrive to Manacor on the highway from Palma- you go straight through the round-about and follow the signs to Felanitx/Cales de Mallorca and when you get to the next round-about take the left (or first exit) direction Felanitx/Cales de Mallorca. Go through the next roundabout and under the tunnel and at the following round about- go all the way around and head back in, but to the right of the tunnel- there is a Yellow sign that says- Bodega Pere Seda. From there follow the yellow signs to the entrance!

See Wines Tasted at Pere Seda: Click Here

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Pere Seda Wine Tasting

Pere Seda Logo

Wines Tasted

◊   1 White   ◊

Chardonnay 2014

◊   2 Reds   ◊

Crianza 2010
Molson Alcover 2011

Pere Seda wine

Pere Seda is no small-scale production. There is wine, wine and more wine. Everything at the winery is big and industrious. It is incredible to see the contrast between the other bodegas that we have visited and this one, as it is one of the few Mallorcan wineries on this level. Pere Seda has a longstanding reputation, and is a reasonably priced, quality controlled wine; and that is an important product! Their wine is a good choice when you want to bring more than one bottle to a picnic or casual dinner and want it to be local.

Tasting Choices: We did not try anything from L’Arxiduc line, which are Semi-Crianza white, rosé, and red; aged 4-6 months in barrel, and made of local and foreign varietals, nor the Novell line which are new, this year vintages.  Tofol had offered us a tasting choice of three wines, and as we already had a solid understanding of Novell wines from different summer events (very pleasant and fresh) we skipped them now, but recommend you try them when looking for a people’s price local wine.


#1
Chardonnay 2014
Grapes: Chardonnay 100%

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Comments:
Tawnee: I am not a Chardonnay drinker…I am hoping that my Mallorca Wine Trail will lead me to a new understanding and appreciation for them, but I still have not found one that I like. This Chardonnay has a very light yellowing color and subtle fruit aromas. It is lightly acidic and crisp. It would be good served as a before-dinner wine in either summer or winter.

Merie: First Tofol poured the 100% Chardonnay young white wine. This wine goes from fermenting tank to bottle, so it is crisp, not an “oaky Chardonnay.” It is a straightforward table white, the kind you can cook with and sip at the same meal to keep the flavours congruous.


 #2
Crianza 2010
Grapes:
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Syrah
Callet

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Comments:
Tawnee: This is a real ruby-red color and the aromas are sweet. It fills the mouth well and ends with a distinct finish. It would be a great accompaniment to a cheese plate or white meats – chicken, turkey, or pheasant.

Merie: Then we tried the Crianza red. 12 months in 80% American and 20% French Oak barrels. This is a complex red and the many components support the overall depth. As we go to more and more wineries, I begin to see the parallels in grape choice blends and fermenting choices, and it is interesting to see how different the products are!


 #3
Molson Alcover 2011

Grapes:
Cabernet Sauvignon
Callet

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Comments:
Tawnee: This is a new combination of grapes – we have not tried Cabernet Sauvignon and Callet – it is normally Monte Negro. Surprisingly enough (for me) it is noticeable! Callet is another local Mallorcan grape. This is an intense wine with a distinct finish. It is definitely the most bold of the three we tried. I would suggest eating it with Mallorcan wild goat or lamb.

Merie: We finished with the limited release Mossèn Alcover red made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Callet grapes from old vines, and aged in oak. Clearly one that Pere Seda is carefully blending, celebrating the strengths of the local grape with the support of tried-and-true Cabernet.


Heres the rub: Interestingly, both of these reds today reminded us of Jose Ferrer wines, and we wish we could be more articulate about the similarities. There is an existing flavor or quality – perhaps residual sugars or less bold tannins – that results in a similar finish.  Let us know what you think!!!


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Thank you Tofol!

Please see Pere Seda Visit: Click Here

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Miquel Gelabert Winery Visit

“Artisanal techniques and ingenuity create a spectrum for the palate.”

miquel gelebert logo
(+34) 971 821 444
www.vinsmiquelgelabert.com
Manacor, Mallorca, Spain

Miquel Galabert Location

Open sesame – hidden away on a tiny residential street of Manacor, an anonymous door opened, and suddenly we are in a miniature but full-production bodega: Vins Miquel Gelabert. The family story goes that in 1984 Miquel cooked in his own restaurant in Manacor. His father owned land, and they were selling grapes to other wineries for so little money that they decided to try their own hand at wine making. At first, Miquel sold the bottles at his restaurant, but soon the demand was high enough to change careers and create Vins Miquel Gelabert. Today, though still small-scale and family run, Miquel and his team work with more than 30 varieties of grapes, creating blends unparalleled on the island. He is a champion of the local varietals! For the record, Manacor, and Miquel Gelabert wines, are in the Denominació D’Origen of Pla i Llevant, on the southern plains of Mallorca.

Miquel Gelabert Person

For a small island, we drove a long way to get to the old and almost industrial city of Manacor. That day we were searching for the two family-run wineries of brothers Toni and Miquel Gelabert [note that Miquel is spelled with a q, not a g, which is the Mallorcan spelling and pronunciation]. They had both been recommended previously by a favorite winery when we confessed our self-education project, and we were anxious to taste their work and see their bodegas.

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We GPS mapped Vins Miquel Gelabert first, and somehow ended up on some tiny street in a small residential area, so of course we were sure our GPS was wrong. But no, looking closer we found telltale stucco grapes over a wide entrance, and when daughter Maria opened the door she revealed the remarkable antique urban bodega within! Built in 1909, it was originally designed as a winery on the rural outskirts of town, and now lies hidden in its center. We only know it was owned by someone else and was purchased by Miquel in the mid 1980s, when he began to make his own wines in earnest.

Miquel Galabert fermenting tanks

Stepping into the entry, two tall stainless tanks towered to our right and Maria told us that the wine in both was already sold in advance. The small room was wallpapered in a patchwork of awards. Maria told us that 50% of their wines are for Mallorca, and 50% for export to Europe.

Miquel Galabert Awards

She led us down a long and steep spiral staircase to the small room where their wine ages in barrels and bottles. Apparently without exception, all Miquel Gelabert reds are aged 12 months in barrel. She told us that though almost all Mallorcan wineries stick to the Spanish rule of Crianza being 6 months in barrel, in fact in the Mallorca D.O.s there is no specific time or system – it can be months in oak barrel or stainless steel. That’s important if you expect an oaky flavor when you buy your Crianza, and then don’t get it!

Bottles Miquel Gelabert

She led us into the old concrete fermenting tanks, repurposed now as cool storage areas for bottles that are gaining their age, and told us that Vins Miquel Gelabert has three locations right now: Their country vineyard with 9 hectares planted, their small city processing bodega with tasting room, and their distribution hub where the 50,000 bottles are picked up annually for distribution. They make over 25 different labels/types/blends of wine, which is truly astonishing for such a tiny family operation, for ANY operation!

Miquel Galabert bodega

Maria told us her brother is just finishing his Enology degree on the mainland, and will be “training in residence” in New Zealand before coming back and working with their father. Maria was in training as well, but for now she is back home and focusing on family priorities. Mother stopped by briefly, and cheerfully helped us make a reservation at Toni Gelabert’s winery.  A family affair!

Miquel Galabert momma

We were told that Miquel Gelabert works mostly at the vineyard, and when the grapes are crushed and the young wines are ready for aging, they transfer it all to portable stainless tanks, and bring it in multiple trips in their personal vehicles to this urban Bodega; exhausting, but a system in place and wistful intentions of consolidating at some point. At Vins Miquel Gelabert, they hand pick all their grapes for the different quality blends; and also because some, like the Callet grape, mature unevenly and must be gone over by hand.

Vins Miquel Galabert

Next we headed to the room where they bottle, label, cork, and seal. All the machines are very small and partly manual. Maria showed us how they work and explained that as recently as two years ago they didn’t even have these machines, and did it all by hand, down to each individual label adhered with a paintbrush and glue! Artisan industry through-and-through!

Miquel Galabert bottle machine

Another vintner had fondly described Miquel as a mad scientist mixing so many blends. Nice to imagine him that way, but we saw him as the cook working on recipes, exploring the local grapes, and thinking outside the box to great effect. All very labor intensive and commendable, and luckily he enjoys the freedom to experiment without any restrictions on grape percentage requirements by D.O. Pla I Llevant (a luxury his D.O. Binissalem counterparts do not enjoy).

Vins Miquel Gelebert tasting room

Helping make sense of the plethora, Maria told us that the wines all fall into three lines as follows:

  • CAULES – everyday table wines
  • GOLÓS – medium range quality
  • SELECCION PRIVADO – top quality

and then a few Special Releases…

Miquel Galabert artistic labels

For a long time Vins Miquel Gelabert used artists to create different labels every year… (part of his mad scientist thing?)… but recently they have decided to try for bottle/brand recognition and have picked a few labels to stick with! This is another winery combing art and wine  – We are beginning to see a trend!

Finally Maria led us to the small and much awaited tasting room – and suddenly the array of wines astounded us further! Here their wines are all displayed with prices, organized across shelves spanning from white to red. Maria asked us where we would like to begin, so headily we started with the whites as we have learned to do; and goodness, are they good! She explained that their Chardonnay is unique because they have this Northern varietal in a special valley where the grapes get less sun in order to allow them to mature closer to their natural habitat. Otherwise, in Mallorca the land of sun, they often burn. Maria was very generous with her time, kind, since we had not made any reservation or given forewarning other than that last minute call of “Um… we are looking for your bodega… and we think we are on the right street, but…” She gave us a glorious tasting – please see our Vins Miquel Gelabert Tasting Notes.

Vins Miquel Galabert Manacor

Before we knew it, it was lunchtime and we had earned a good meal! Maria gave us a recommendation for cafe in the town (we wished it was at Miquel’s long-gone restaurant!) and we popped back onto the street to meet the grape-friendly sun with smiles on our face!

Directions:Miquel Gelebert Winery Map
Hidden in the city of Manacor…I hope these directins help. Coming from the highway Palma-Manacor when you enter to the town of Manacor at the first round about- continue on the highway that takes you on a loop road around the town, a left or three-quarter turn. On the following round about head into town and pass the hospital, this is a right or one-quarter turn. Go straight through the following round about and at the next, with the road, Passeig del Ferrocarril, go left or three-quarter turn. It is a street with a meridian in the middle. From here you have to keep your eye out for the little sign on the right hand side and/or the street name: Carrer de la Veroninca. It is a one way street. Then it is your fourth street on the right- also a one way street. Carrer d’en Salas. It is difficult and the outside of the building is very discrete, but it is worth the hunt to find it.

See Wines Tasted at Miquel Gelabert: Click Here

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Miquel Gelabert Wine Tasting

miquel gelebert logo

Wines Tasted

◊   4 Whites   ◊

Golós Blanc 2013
Vinya Son Caules Blanc 2013
Sa Vall 2011
Chardonnay Roure 2013

◊   4 Reds   ◊

Autonom 2011
Torrent Negre 2009
Seleccio Privada
Gran Vinya Son Caules

Miquel Gelebert Wines

Going to a wine tasting at Vins Miquel Gelabert is a memorable experience! There is no shortage of wines to choose from!  Miquel has 10 vineyards on the island and produces wine from 30 different grapes. This is no small feat for a family run business and is why there are a variety of wines and lines to choose from! They take the time to share with you their knowledge and make you feel at home. Every wine we tasted here was full of life and passion – exquisite!


#1
Golós Blanc 2013
Grapes: Riesling
Moscatel
Viognier
Giró blanc

Golos Miquel Galabert

Comment:
Tawnee: Golós is a wonderful fresh and crisp wine! ‘Golós’ means someone that tries something, and wants more; gluttonous. It is a unique white in that it is a mix of young wine and wine that has been fermented, around 40% of the grapes (Reisling and Moscatel) have been French oak for around six months. It would be excellent on a warm summer day by itself or paired with a fresh chilled salad or white fish. Delicious.

Merie: First we tried the lovely Golós 2013. It is 30% Crianza with Viognier and Giró Blanc grapes 4-6 months in oak barrel, blended with 70% Muscatel, Riesling, which did not go to oak barrel — so it still a young wine. It is a fresh, bright wine with just a hint of oak. The name Golós comes from the word “Goloso” meaning someone who loves to eat and drink, someone who “wants more,” understandably!


#2
Vinya Son Caules Blanc 2013
Grapes: Macabeo
Moscatel
Prensal Blanc

Vinyes Son Caules Blanc Wine

Comment:
Tawnee: The beautiful straw color is what I first noticed about this wine. It is a semi-crianza in the sense that it is only in French oak barrels for 3 months. This is different to begin with, white in oak and for such a short time. It adds complexity to the wine and I like it. It would be perfect to combine with any vegetarian dish as it is light, but won’t get lost in contrast to the vegetables.

Merie:  These three local grapes blend to make a truly unique white wine.  They are subtle, combine well, and the oak is used carefully to complement.  The color is mouthwatering on a hot day, as are the fresh white-fruit and nectar aromas (I’m trying!)  It is nicely dry but the fruity quality still shines.  I would like to take a bottle to an artisan cheese maker’s tasting!


#3
Sa Vall 2011
Grapes: Giró Blanc
Viognier

Miguel Gelabert Sa Vall

Comment:
Tawnee: Sa Vall means the valley. It is a mix of two grapes that have been both fermented in new French oak for six months. The result is a very distinct white. I am not accustomed to drinking white wines that have gone to oak, but I like it. It is a white with structure and body. I think it would be excellent beside a grilled fish and veggies!

Merie: Next we tried the Sa Vall 2011: It is a White Crianza, 6 months in high-grade French oak and at least 6 months in bottle (3 years in our case!). The Giró Blanc and Viognier grapes are hand selected for this well-balanced blend.


#4
Chardonnay Roure 2013
Grapes:  Chardonnay 100%

Miquel Galabert Chardonnay

Comment:
Tawnee: I am not a fan of Chardonnay. I am trying to find it’s place in my palate, but I have not quite found it. I did enjoy this one. Perhaps the fact that it was 6 months in new French oak. It is a beautiful combination a French grape with French oak. It has around 14% alcohol. It is a very noble wine, golden in color and strong in the mouth with a dry finish. A good accompaniment to chicken or rabbit with gravy.

Merie: Maria poured the Chardonnay Roure 2013 next. It is a 100% Chardonnay Crianza, spending 6-10 months in top quality French oak. The grapes are selected very carefully by hand. It is smooth and crisp, with a dry finish. The grapes are purposefully grown in a small valley where there is less sun and they don’t over-sugar or burn. Many northern grapes are used to less sun, and they can over-mature in the sunny Mallorcan plain. Since aromas are in the skin, the Gelaberts are very careful with this. With less sun, the taste and aroma of this white are more in the French style Maria tells us.

#5
Autonom 2011
Grapes: Callet 50%
Manto Negro 20%
Fogoneu 15% (old vines)
Gorgollassa 15%

Miquel Galabert Autonom wine

Comment:
Tawnee: This is a special wine because it started out as a joint production between two bodegas- Bodega Ribas and Vins Miquel Gelebert. The name is Autonom, which is short autonomo, which means authentic to the place it is from, so Mallorcan grapes only. This is a delightful idea to combine two Mallorcan wineries, using only Mallorcan grapes to create a truly Mallorcan special wine. Recently, Miquel Gelebert has decided to take on full production of the wine. A dominant wine with notes of red ripe berries and wild herbs. I think it would be great with Mallorcan caracoles (snails) or stew.

Merie: Next we tasted the Autócton, which was designed in tandem with Bodegues Ribas in 2011. It is a very savory, smooth, Crianza red made with only native grape varieties including Callet, Manto Negro, Fogoneu, Gorgollassa, and Giró Negro grapes, and all from old vines! The grapes were mixed and then fermented together. If you can find a bottle of this it is well worth drinking. The Ribas Winery is in a different D.O. and their Distributer is different, so after collaborating, apparently big Ribas “gave” it to Miquel Gelabert for distribution.  What a partnership!

#6
Torrent Negre 2009
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Syrah

Miquel Galabert Torrent Negre wine

Comment:
Tawnee: This is a common coupage that we are tasting, but I just love how every winery does it different. Miquel Gelebert has decided to age it in French oak and New American oak so there are notes of vanilla, smokiness and spice. It is a solid full body red. Like the name says- Torrent Negre- the Red River – it is a beautiful river that floods your mouth. I like it!

Merie: Maria then poured Torent Negre, 2009. This wine was aged 12 months in new French and American oak barrels, followed by further aging in the bottle.  Maria called it “elegante y redondo.” I was comparing this complex bottle to the Autònom, tasting back and forth trying to get different words to describe them, seeing which I liked best. Maria smiled and said  “Son buenos los dos, y ya esta.” – Get your Spanish dictionary out, you might as well learn some vocabulary too – “They are both good, and that’s that.”


#7
Seleccio Privada
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 100%

Miquel Galabert Seleccio Privada

Comment:
Tawnee: This is a specialty wine that they only produce when there are good enough grapes to make it, and only from the best vines in the vineyard. Hence, the quantity of bottles produced is low. A rare gem – they have named it at the bodega amongst themselves – the wine makers’ ‘capricho’,  the closest translation I can think of being ‘toy’….in the sense of a Ferrari is your toy. We tried it because we love strong, full deep bodied wines and this did not disappoint. Devine.

Merie:  I love a good Cabernet and this 100% was a pleasure.  Knowing these grapes were individually hand picked and then hand selected for this Selecció Privada lends to the joyful experience.  Vins Miquel Gelabert are good at creating a full bodied dry red, where the fruit notes are strong but no residual sugars thicken the flavor.  Give me this wine, dark chocolate, and some dry Spanish cheese and send me home!


#8
Gran Vinya Son Caules

Grapes: Callet 90%
Manto Negro 10%
and other varietals

Miquel Galabert Gran Vinyes Son Caules Wine

Comment:
Tawnee: This wine comes from the oldest grape vines of this bodega – more than 50 years old (the Vinyes Velles). This is a wonderful wine with the local grapes, Callet and Manto Negro. The aromas are of ripe berries and with the mix of French, American and Hungarian oak creates a wonderful blend of spices and chocolate. An elegant coupage.

Merie: Our last taste was Gran Vinya Son Caules, made from a hand picked selection of grapes from the oldest vines. It is 90% Callet grape, the rest is usually Manto Negro and Fogoneu, depending on the year. The other varieties help with color, as apparently Callet oxidizes easily.  Oxidation changes a wine’s hue and taste…as a wine ages it is oxidizing so winemakers keep track of this as they perfect their product.  (Remember the purposefully oxidized wine at Cellar Ca’n Pico?)  Maria said this is her father’s favorite.  It’s the one he is presenting to show that Callet is a good grape, but standing alone it would perhaps not appeal 100% in color and aroma, and that would hurt sales. She said (and I translate and thus paraphrase) “Blends let you create the wine you want, the look, the scent, and the flavor. 100% of one grape can be no more than what that grape can offer.”


Vins Miquel Galabert Maria

Thank you Maria!

See Miquel Gelabert Visit: Click Here

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