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.

Miquel Galabert_7-13-15_#10

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

###   Vins Miquel Gelabert   ###

Advertisements

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

###   Vins Miquel Gelabert   ###

Ribas Winery Visit

“Passion and dedication in a coupage of creativity and unforgettable wines.”

Ribas logo
www.bodegaribas.com
+34  971 62 26 73
Consell, Mallorca, Spain

Established in 1711, Bodega Ribas is one of the oldest wineries on the island and has been in the same family for 13 generations; thus it is the oldest one-family winery in Mallorca. After the Phylloxera plague, the family went to olive products, almonds, and carob until they replanted local grapes with American rootstock around the turn of the last century. The current generation, a sister and brother in their late thirties, have completed their oenological degree on the mainland and are the new and highly regarded Ribas winemakers.

Ribas Bodega

Designated organic, Ribas has 40 hectares of vineyards (98 acres) with 160,000 vines planted approximately 2 kilometers from the estate, direction Santa María. Ribas produces 130-150,000 bottles per year. That’s almost 1 bottle per plant, which is generally considered a low yield. However, Ribas’ focus is on quality, and the oldest vines produce less volume, but great flavor. Their local grapes include Manto Negro, Callet, Gorgollassa, and Prensal Blanc. All production is done here at this beautiful historic estate winery.

Ribas_7-9-15_#4

Experiencing Ribas was like falling in love. Practically in the industrial district of Consell, we followed discreet signs along anonymous inland streets until we turned into the estate, or finca, of Bodega Ribas. We have driven through this town for years, and never realized that there was a bodega here. It is a diamond in the rough. It has been the family home as long as it has been their winery, and it is rare that you get to see one of these inland empires. Clearly, it was once a magnificent country estate – until the town swallowed it up. Our French born tour guide, Sylvia, told us that – incredibly – the family still lived here up until this last decade, and all generations still meet here daily for the family lunch.

Ribas_7-9-15_#5

We had booked in advance and paid for the full tour and tasting – exciting! Starting the facility and production tour, Sylvia told us that this winery is certified organic, using only natural copper and sulphur dusts to eliminate fungus and pests. August through October they go over every vine by hand as it is less aggressive than machines, includes no branches or snails, allows first selection of early bunches and elimination of weak ones. After that, the grapes are brought in 15kg boxes so no grape is crushed by the weight of others, and then spread onto a table and hand culled before they are put into the de-stemming and maceration machine. It sounded incredibly labor intensive, and yet fantastic that they want to ensure that each wine comes from the best grapes.

They use a pneumatic press, selecting the pressing pressure by grape variety. For red wines they use skin and seed during fermentation/maceration, and then press the grapes after. Rosés are pink (rather than red) because of less time with red-grape skin. Ribas wines are not sold in super markets and are mostly available in restaurants and vinotecas (wine stores). 40% of their product stays here in Mallorca, 10% goes to the mainland, and 50% goes to Switzerland and Germany. Their fermentation area is flanked with stainless tanks, and they add yeast as necessary to complete the processing of sugars in order to achieve the desired flavors and dryness.

Ribas_7-9-15_#8

During fermentation, skins and seeds rise, so they use a delicate pump to remix. Otherwise those float, known as “the sombrero,” and can mold and the ingredients aren’t available for fermentation. When ready, they lower the temperature to slow or stop fermentation, extract the wine without pressure, press if not already pressed, and go to oak barrel.

Ribas Wine

Sylvia told us that historically, Mallorcan wineries produced inexpensive wines with no oak barrel aging, no structure, to be ready in three months for the December and January village festivals. Mallorcans in the towns would come to buy “a granel” which is “in bulk,” bringing their own bottles. This is the young wine that towns still provide for the island Saints’ festivals like San Sebastian and San Antoni.

Bodega Ribas

Ribas_7-9-15_#10

Then we were taken across the estate to the bodega, where they have all the barrels. This is a beautiful, peaceful place. It is an original building and has the thick 1m walls, which helps with the acclimatization. On to the tank room, Sylvia also showed us the 60-year-old cement tanks lined with red non-toxic sealant, historically lined with tile.

Ribas_7-9-15_#6 Ribas_7-9-15_#7

These tanks are still used for certain wines and kept at 25-27° Celsius, a temperature slightly higher than the steel tanks can handle without their releasing a steel flavor and aroma. She told us that the Ribas routine is to ferment individual grape types first, and then blend wines as desired (coupage), and age in oak barrels. Over time they taste and sometimes mix further, and finally move the desired wine to bottles for final aging.

Ribas_7-9-15_#11

Over all, Ribas uses 85% French oak, and 15% American oak barrels, and have them elegantly placed one on top of the other. It is beautiful to see how at Ribas, the modern mixes with the traditional; here the doors are glass and the building centuries old. They are experimenting with different sizes of barrels to see how they affect the wines. We asked Sylvia to explain to us why Ribas and other wineries choose to ferment in oak barrels from multiple countries. She told us that generally speaking, French oak comes from older trees and imparts milder flavors of chocolate and tobacco.  American oak barrels come from younger trees (they are dried artificially for timely use), are more porous, and impart robust flavor of coco and vanilla, and they allow more oxygen transference.  Who knew???? The year of the barrel is listed on its face (not the year of the wine as we had thought), so the vintners know how long it has been in use, and thus what amount of flavor it is imparting. While still in barrel, they sample the wines to check their evolution, and then top up the barrels as needed; wine evaporates (particularly in porous American oak) and a barrel must stay full to avoid oxidation. [Remember the technique used at Ca’n Pico where the oxygenation was purposeful?] A barrel’s use is a maximum of 12 years (often less). They re-use the barrels 3-4 times then sell them as decorations. They also give them to artists who paint or sculpt them in a project called BotArt that Ribas started. They feel that both winemaking and artistry are creative processes, and this is where they bring the two worlds together in a coupage

Ribas_7-9-15_#13

Before we went to the tasting room, we were asked if we wanted to see the original house of the familia Ribas.   Oh, you bet.   We were shown through the home’s “entrada” (or entrance salon), which was set with tables for an event that night; and then into the home’s 1776 kitchen, still intact and fully functional. The Grandparents are the last generation to have lived here, and they still eat here every day with the family in that wonderful Mallorcan tradition.  This kitchen is a glimpse back in time to when the island was still largely unchanged for centuries, and we were in awe of its grand and traditional beauty!

Ribas_7-9-15_#15

Excitingly, the “Cata,” or Wine Tasting came next. The tasting room is beside a courtyard off the fermenting rooms and offices, and we felt like we’d been taken into a secret garden! Here we saw the old barrels that have been transformed into pieces of art, the BotArt Sylvia was telling us about. We always love to see things recycled and repurposed, and creating art out of unneeded wine making ‘equipment’ is an incredible initiative. Eagerly, we sat down amid modern interiors, beside the antique patio with ArtBarrels, and the tasting began.

Ribas_7-9-15_#18

We are starting to understand that many wineries have lines of wine, and within these lines are selections, generally including white, rosé, and red wines (for example the José Ferrer Winery’s organic line Pedra de Binissalem).

At Ribas their lines are:

  • Ribas – 2 whites, 1 red
  • Sio – white, rosé, red

Special releases including

  • Soma — White, 100% Viognier
  • Ribas de Cabrera – Their signature Red Coupage
  • Desconfio de la Gente que No Bebe – Red

Ribas_7-9-15_#22

We were in a heat wave and Sylvia politely pointed out that to keep a chilled white wine cool as long as possible, you hold the glass by the stem to keep the heat of your hand away from it; whereas in the winter you might cup your hand around the glass to help warm and open a red.

Ribas_7-9-15_#20

As we sipped the marvelous Ribas wines, Sylvia said their red Ribas Negre is very representative of the Mallorcan terroir. School in session: Terroir is the unique flavors and aromas of a wine that come from the growing environment, including soil and climate: In this case from the red Mallorcan earth, rich in salts and limestone. As example, it makes sense that 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines would present differently (taste and aroma) if produced in the exact same way but with grapes from different terroir.

Ribas_7-9-15_#19c

On the tasting table were six glasses – one for each wine to taste, and crackers, cheese, and Ribas olive oil. Sylvia started by explaining a little bit about each wine, then poured and left the bottle on the table as we are given time to enjoy the surroundings and talk as she came and went.

Ribas tastingRibas_7-9-15_#25

We were very inquisitive that day and asking lots of questions. Our enthusiasm, we guess, was noted so much that we were introduced to one of the family members: daughter enologist Araceli Servera Ribas. The first thing Tawnee noticed was her shirt! It was a Pink Floyd copy, but with a wine glass instead of a prism, and their web address on the back. Ingenious!  Tawnee proceeded to ask her a question that had been bothering her forever: “I always see people sticking their noses in the wine…and I wanted to know what they were really looking for… exactly how does a person smell a wine? ”

Truth be told, as self-educators, so far we have been stabbing wildly to describe aromas. Here we confided in Araceli that there was nothing consistently, logically, obvious to us like “I detect notes of immature lowland moss and gummy bears;” and yet “experts” are confident, direct and concise. Smiling with beautiful wide eyelids like Shelley Duvall, Araceli slowed us down. She said there is a platform to start from, and in enology education they teach the first detections:  Fruity or mineral? If fruity, tropical or forest berries like strawberry, blackberry, or stone fruit like plum? If mineral, which one? Maybe iron, old vine, rain on earth? And do you detect barrel aromas? American vanilla or coconut? French cacao, licorice or tobacco? Many barrel-makers burn the barrels to eliminate resin, the scorch lends sometimes-desirable flavor, so wineries clean and choose according to objective:  Do you detect a hint of smoke = new barrel? The function of the barrel is to mature the flavors – like when pasta sauce is better the next day because the flavors have bloomed and mingled. Did we detect the balsamics of a young vine? Menthols? Etc. It isn’t a free-for-all as it seemed to us, it is a narrowing, a detection, and recognition. Tawnee made a simple aroma chart:

how to smell wine ribas

Soon the conversation took off excitingly on the subjects of grape selection, her winery recommendations, and island wine history. Somewhere in all of this she told us that many red wines in Mallorca are 14% alcohol like a sweet white; because of the amount of sun the island gets, the red grapes get very sweet, and thus it takes a long fermentation period as the yeasts consume the strong sugars before achieving a dry red. We also learned that the Ribas winery is also partly responsible for recovering other indigenous grape varieties of the island, as Gorgollassa and Escursac, which were practically non-existent after Phylloxera. Voracious and exuberant, we moved on to the topic of tannins, which before Araceli had pretty much eluded us as well. Tannins are astringent:  they are color stabilizers in wine just as in the leather industry, and lend structure or balance to flavorful wines. Young grape skins and seeds are more astringent, as is new oak; they have bitter macro tannins. Flabby structure in a wine means no tannins, or overly soft tannins (hmmm, we’ve had those wines…). Old vines, like old wood barrels, impart smoother tannins, mellower perhaps, but not considered weak.

Ribas_7-9-15_#23

Everything was coming clearer. Sylvia poured, we breathed in aromas and washed flavors around our mouths… and we continued to converse with Araceli about her family, the bodega, and why she decided to become an enologist. We could see the passion she holds about wine and doing things right – she has been all over the world in her studies learning about how different wineries make their wine. What we enjoyed the most was that she took the time to hang out with us and help us learn. She was willing and positive, offering ideas and answering questions with patience. We didn’t feel stupid asking the silly things we had always wanted to know. To top things off – she then told us that the shirt she was wearing was for sale there! We both bought one!

IMG_5221 IMG_4506sm

A diamond in the rough,
overflowing glasses of good
wine and knowledge.

We sipped on as we talked, so please see our Ribas Tasting Notes for descriptions of the truly gratifying wines we enjoyed here at Bodega Ribas.

Directions:
Bodega Ribas MapOn the Highway Palma-Inca take off the exit for Binisalem, Alaro, Consell and at the round about take the ‘left’ or three quarter around turn. That will bring you into the town of Consell. Here you must  look for the signs for Bodega Ribas. Follow them (curving through the town) until you reach an estate with an entrance with sign Ribas.

See Wines Tasted at Ribas: Click Here

###   BODEGA RIBAS   ###