José Ferrer Wine Tasting

Jose Ferrer Logo

Wines Tasted:

◊   3 Reds   ◊

Pedra de Binissalem Negre 2013
Reserva Veritas 2007
Veritas, Vinyes Velles

Jose Ferrer multiple lines

There is no shortage of wines to choose from for tasting! With five different lines of wines produced at José Ferrer, we wanted to taste them all! However, we must have told Miguel we are red-centric, because we only tasted red wines today. In retrospect, of course we should have tried a white and a rose, because it is hard to understand the full spectrum of the winery when you only taste one type. But, one really can’t taste everything as a drop-in; and we were going with the flow – as one does!

Putting our glasses beside a plate of Quelly biscuits and Mahon cheese (great authentic Mallorcan products for our tasting), Miguel poured, and we dove into a sea of red.

Pedra de Binissalem Negre 2013
Grapes: Mantonegro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Pedra de Binissalem

Tawnee: I am so happy to see that a major producer on the island is getting into organic wine! We had to try this red! It was delicate, with ripe berry tones and a distinct finish.

Merie: The first wine was the Pedra de Binissalem, Negre 2013. This deep red wine is organic, from their own Vineyard at Finca Sa Pareteta which is registered Ecological. It is a blend of Manto Negro and Cabernet grapes. They cool the bunches of grapes before squeezing, and maceration and fermentation are done in stainless tanks before following with 6 months in new American and French oak barrels. This wine has aromas of berries and ripe fruit, with the chocolate and coffee notes of French oak.

Reserva Veritas 2007
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Veritas

Tawnee:  I was happy to be able to try a Reserva on the tasting list, as usually they do not open them. This was a solid wine. The name is perfectly chosen – Veritas in English means “the truth.”  It would be good served with a traditional meal of Mallorcan lamb chops, fried garlic and French fries.

Merie: Next we tried The Reserva Veritas 2007 red. Fermented in stainless, aged one year in French and American oak, then aged in bottle over two years before sale. It is made from 60% Manto Negro, then Callet and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a very rich, almost smoky wine, with aromas and flavor of ripe fruit.

Veritas Vinyes Velles
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Veritas Vinyes Velles

Tawnee: This is my favorite wine of all that we tasted, and I like the label with the big V! V for Veritas (the truth). It is a solid wine with a good rich flavor in mouth. Vinyes Velles means “the old vines” and that is where this wine comes from – José Ferrer’s oldest vines. Knowing this adds to the enjoyment of drinking it, it is deep rooted and full of heritage and wisdom.

Merie: Finally we tried the Veritas red. All the Manto Negro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Callet grapes in this wine are hand chosen from old vines. Held in French and American oak for one year. It is rich, with smoky almost roasted, aromas and flavor.

Here is the rub: There is some quality about these reds that wasn’t to our taste. We are wondering if the grapes are pressed too ripe, or if a short fermentation period leaves some residual sugars, or maybe the tannins are too smooth… we really don’t know. These wines are rich and robust and have a ripe fruit quality; however, there was something different about them that was consistent in all. Further education is needed!

Jose Ferrer Miguel

Thank you Miguel!

See José Ferrer visit: Click here


Bodega Macia Batle Visit

“Where Wine meets Art, a perfect pairing.”
Macia batle logo

Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca Spain

Founded in the 1850s, Bodegas Macià Batle currently produces approximately  1 million bottles per year, the largest producer on the island we are told. Don’t let the size deter you!!  We love this wine; and the tasting and tour are high on our list of “Don’t Miss” wineries! Located in Santa Maria del Cami, they are in the Binissalem Denomination of Origin, (DOB), and currently have 100 hectares of vineyards. They can produce 140,000. bottles at one time. 40% of their wines go for export to the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Denmark, and 60% for the island in grocery stores, wine shops, and restaurants. In 2004 they enlarged to current production levels. Mallorcan Chairman Sebastià Rubí loves art, so every year their Crianza and Reserva wines get special artistic labels, and label-art decorates the winery like a private gallery!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#14 sm

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#12

The grapes they grow include local varietals Manto Negro, Gorgollassa, Giro Ros, Prensal Blanc, Muscatel, and northern grapes including Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Bodegas Macià Batle grows most of its own grapes, but an interesting fact is that in the Binissalem Denomination of Origin (DOB), wineries can buy grapes from other vineyards, as long as they too are in the DOB. It is our understanding that the DOB red wines must be made with a minimum of 30% Manto Negro or Gorgollassa grapes. The Whites must have a 50% minimum of Premsal Blanc (also known as Moll), or from the variety Moscatell.  And the Rosés require a minimum of 30% Manto Negro or Gorgollassa.  Go local grapes!!!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#9

While the scale at Macià Batle seems enormous compared with our previous Wine Trail Bodegas, this winery is well laid out with pleasing architecture, good light, and we certainly got the feeling of a care for excellence rather than mass production. Our tour was fun and truly informative, led by multilingual Isabel who seemed to be as excited about winemaking as we are. There are scheduled tasting tours at specific times that can be booked in advance. Or, like us, you can gamble and hope to just show up and be a part of one. Either way, we highly recommend it and think this is one of the best winery tours on the island.

Macia Batle guided tour

Arriving at Macià Batle, you first enter via the main showroom.  It has all the glorious certificates and bottles on display, wonderful label art on the walls, and interesting books and deli products for sale. It sounds touristic, but the layout and colors are so good that it is a pleasure to enter and browse.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#13

Beginning the tour we learned that their entire bottling process is automatic. We walked through high-ceilinged halls past enormous machines that clean bottles, fill them, label, cap, seal, then load them into cases. Their Italian bottling machine is enormous, filling up to 3,000 bottles in an hour! They use real cork from the mainland and Portugal, despite its increasing cost due to global over-harvesting of the slow-growing cork tree bark. [Actually, later on in our self-education Wine Trail we learned that real cork is the norm in Mallorca.  We haven’t come across plastic yet!]

Macia Batle Steel tanks

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#30Macia Batle_7-9-15_#29

Stopping briefly at the back of the Production hall, we were shown a display of all the artistic labels to date. Chairman of Bodegas Macià Batle, Sebastià Rubí, is a true art lover. It is incredible to see the collection on display from the different years and artists. A real collectors’ piece! Believe us, reading their website about these bottles and artists adds a wonderful dimension to enjoying the wines!

Macia Batle Art labels

Next Isabel led us downstairs into the underground cellar, as the cool musky smell of oak rose to greet us. Below, oak barrels filled the long rooms, and arched halls framed expanses of dark gleaming bottles coming of age – the lighting creating the feel that we were in the wine cellar of a beautiful Spanish Castle.  Continuing, we were shown the area where they use the old process of carbonic maceration, fermenting the whole grape 2-3 weeks before pressing.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#34

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#21

Isabel told us that for a wine to be called Crianza, it must be aged at least 6 months in oak ( but you knew that, right?). Some of their wines ferment in oak, some ferment in the tanks then age in oak.  She told us French oak is a thinner wood and creates high quality chocolate and coffee flavors and aromas. German Oak has a similar quality and is less expensive.  They buy barrels new, and sell them after 4 years to Port and Whisky makers. They keep the barrel rooms at 80% humidity and at a temperature of 11-12° Celsius (51-53° F). Walking further along Isabel showed us their Bordeaux French tanks which are steel inside and cement on the outside. The tanks have an egg shape, and fermentation circulates differently within. We can’t wait to taste and compare these!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#37

Leading us down the halls of resting bottles, Isabel talked about the local grapes.  She said that the wines from this region of Mallorca are so good because of the soil, because there are around 300 days of sun each year, and because the wine country is not far from the cool sea yet sheltered from sea storms.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#18

Upstairs again and into the tasting salon, more original art adorned the walls surrounding a large raucous group of French tasters who were having a ball! It was great to see that they can accommodate such a big group and still have it feel like a personal party. We would have loved to have snuck in and tasted with them, but Isabel took us to a room near the entry showroom and proceeded with a phenomenal private presentation and wine tasting including Macià Batle “deli” products like spicy marmalade, olive spreads and oils, as well as paté and Mallorcan Sobresada sausage on Mallorcan Quelly biscuits to help open our palates!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#45 Macia Batle Cover Image

Our advice? Don’t miss this winery. At the time of this posting there is a charge of $10.00 per person for “tour and tasting with delicatessen,” well worth the cost.  We thoroughly enjoyed the extensive and informational experience, and loved these good wines with distinct character and structure.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#16

How to get there: Macia batle map
Take the Santa Maria exit from the Autopista Palma-Inca and after winding through the town- head in direction  Consell. You can not miss the beautiful architecture of this bodega on your left hand side as you leave Santa Maria del Cami town.

See Wines Tasted at Macia Batle: Click here

### Bodega Macià Batle ###

Macia Batle Wine Tasting

Macia batle logo

Wines Tasted:

◊   1 White   ◊

Blanc de Blancs Dolç 2010

◊   2 Rosé   ◊

Rosado 2014
Margalida Llompart Rosé 2014

◊   3 Red   ◊

 Crianza 2012
Crianza 2010
Margalida Llompart Negre 2012

Macia batle bottles

Macia Batle knows how to do a tasting! Isabel was extremely informative and knew her wines and their production. It was wonderful to learn so much about the wines while enjoying them. As we went along, each wine was paired with a specific cracker and topping. It was delicious to follow Isabel’s suggestions, and then to try our own pairing ideas as well. It is striking how much a pairing accents the wine! We suggest always tasting the wine alone before pairing, both to know the wine, but also to see how it develops. We were asked at the beginning if we preferred whites or reds and we, of course, said REDS!  That is why we didn’t try a dry white first – and only tasted the sweet white after the reds.  Live and learn.

Rosado 2014
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Macia batle Rosado

Tawnee:  Rosado – the Spanish translation of Rosé. The blend of these four grapes creates a traditional rosé color and a slight sweetness to the wine. I noted soft aromas of apple. I would drink this wine chilled in the early afternoon on the terrace while reading a good book. It is very fresh.

Merie: We started with the Rosado 2014, a blend of Manto Negro, Cabernet, Syrah, and Merlot. Legs of sugar and alcohol glistened down the glass. 13.5% alcohol, tart, clear and young, with a fruity scent. We tried it with both black and green olive oils and spreads with great effect. A super rosé at a good price.

Margalida Llompart Rosé 2014
Grapes: Manto Negro 100%

Macia Batle Margalida Llompart Rose

Tawnee: I love to see tradition honored, and using the grandmother’s name for a bottle is beautiful. Normally in Mallorca you name your children after their grandmothers. This is why there are so many names repeated in families here on the island. This Rosé has aromas of cherries and contains 13.5% alcohol. Its delicate flavor matches the subtle rose color created from the Manto Negro grape. It is a wonderful appetizer drink on a summer’s day.

Merie: The Rosé Margalida Llompart has a photo of the grandmother as the label — somewhere we learned there is a tradition of honoring the mothers by naming a good wine after them! This wine is 100% Manto Negro so is lighter in color than the Rosado blend. I found it slightly more acid or tart, very fresh and lightly dry.

Crianza 2012
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Macia Batle Crianza 2012

Tawnee: This is a smooth bottle of red. It is has lots of ripe berry flavor and good body. I enjoyed it.

Merie: Next we tasted the Crianza 2012 red which is 50% Manto Negro and 20/20/10 Cabernet/Syrah/Merlot, with 10 months in Barrel, and then 14 in bottle. It is 14% alcohol, showed more legs. Interestingly, it is the same blend of grapes as the Rosé Llompart – but it sits with its skins longer for the deep red color and tannins they give. It is smooth, elegant, and soft. And we were told the longer it ages in bottle the better it gets for special occasions.

Crianza 2010
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Macia batle Crianza 2010

Tawnee: What a difference just two years can make! I really loved the body in this red. It had solid tannins and a great finish. I would say it is worth it to buy a more recent bottle, and keep it to open a few years down the line.

Merie: The Crianza 2010 is the kind of red I want at my table!  A very balanced red which would go well with any meal.

Margalida Llompart Negre 2012
Grapes: Manto Negro

Macia Batle Margalida Llompart

Tawnee: With aromas of bacon, this red wine has 14% alcohol, strong tannins, deep color, and great body. I love that we were able to try almost the whole line of Margalida Llompart wines.

Merie: This is a stellar red, strong and rich, but never heavy. The high alcohol content suggests there were a lot of sugars in the grapes, but no unwanted residual sugars here! It is nicely dry and perfect for hors d’oeuvres or a great meal.

Blanc de Blanc Dolç 2010
Grapes: Prensal Blanc

Macia Batle Dolc

Tawnee: A lovely sweet white wine. It would be a lovely drink on a cold winter day, served ever so slightly chilled after a meal. Delicious.

Merie: The last tasting was the Blanc de Blanc Dolç 2010.  This lightly sweet wine is a Prensal Blanc. Interestingly, it doesn’t taste like the aroma. The scent is almost white-raisin sweet, while the flavor is more tropical and fresh.

Note: We were not able to taste the Red Reserva because there were only 10 bottles left in the winery stock. Good wines move fast! It is a Crianza with 2+ years in oak and 2+/- years in bottle. They carefully reserve the best grapes for this signature wine, the same blend of 4 red grapes as in the other reds we tasted.

While pouring the last tasting, Isabel said that at Macia Batle there is innovation and constant growth mixed with a love of the local grapes and a huge respect for wine and art.   That says it all!

Macia Batle Isabel

Thank you Isabel!

See Bodega Macia Batle visit: Click here

### Bodega Macià Batle ###

Es Verger Winery Visit

“Hidden away in a mountain valley, this precious jewel is worth every second spent searching for it.”

Es Verger Logo
Esporles, Mallorca Spain

The award winning Es Verger is a small, privately owned and run boutique winery. They have 7 hectares of vineyards on this magical mountain property, and all production is done on site.  Originally planted in 1995, the first wines went to market in 2001. They produce approximately 15,000 bottles per year; their wine is certified organic, and sold primarily to an international market and fine local restaurants. They produce 3 reds, a rosé, and a very special sweet white.

Bodega Es Verger Vineyard

So, after we left Celler Son Vives, we called Es Verger to see if they were open, since we had to drive through Esporles anyway to get out of the mountains. Friday night – 5:30 – what are the chances? A man answers the phone “Sure, come on over… I’m here.” And we are off to the next Winery!

Es Verger is situated way up in the Tramuntana hills above Esporles, accessed only by a small, beautiful, and winding road with hidden or invisible street signs. After a few more phone calls – in Spanish of course – we get directions by landmark: “In direction Palma, third right after the plaza, climb, wind, until the big tree in the middle of the road… then…” Unsure if we were on the right road the entire time… looking at the clock and thinking perhaps we don’t have time for this… and then, 4.5km winding through the mountain… there he is – the man on the other end of the phone – waving us down to stop at his gorgeous stone walled vineyard.  It felt like we were in a summer dream…

Bodega Es Verger bodega

Miguel, the owner and vintner, welcomed us onto his property through his stone pillared gate. Lean, tan, white haired and wearing shorts and a loose, pressed white cotton shirt, he walked us past his beautiful vine covered home amidst gentle sounds of young voices and tapping earthen kitchenware, and to the adjoining Bodega. Inside, the cool air greeted us, and the now familiar steel fermenting tanks lined one wall as we passed through to the tasting area. The first thing we notice were all the awards and certificates that are proudly, yet discretely, framed on the wall. For some strange reason, this did not mean anything to us, and we had no expectations before the tasting. Surrounded by maturing bottles, and speaking to us only in Spanish, Miguel brought out 5 bottles of wine, two glasses, and an elegant small bottle of light virgin olive oil.

Bodega Es Verger tasting

Pouring the first taste, Miguel starts telling us about his wine and how he makes it. He started the vineyard out of passion and interest, and only wants to make good wine. Producing around 15,000 bottles per year, they are mostly exported, or sold in high-class restaurants on the island and to private clients. After the first taste we love it! It is clear that this is his passion and that he makes the wine that he wants to drink. While we tasted, his daughters appeared, earnest and beaming, bringing rock salt and sliced rustic bread to frame the home pressed oil that is also for sale. The oil was lovely, light and delicate, a very welcome addition to the tasting and delicious! We tried four of the five bottles of wine; the only one we didn’t try is the Pinot Noir, because of demand it has sold out.

Bodega Es Verger Bottles

Please see our tasting notes for more detail on the wines.

Trying to let Miguel get back to his family, we asked him to show us his vineyards on the way back to our car. We walked along the stunningly healthy vines planted carefully in their lines, all certified and organically tended. Miguel explained that they plant their rows farther apart than standard because of the mountainous terrain, and the sun and air between the rows largely prevents disease. He told us more sun produces thicker skin, thus more flavor and tannins, becoming full bodied in fermentation.  Tannins are textural, and the perfect astringency in the mouth seems to make a wine ‘taste dry.’   8-10 days steeping with the skins creates the flavor; the ripe inside fruit providing the water and sugar for successful fermentation.

All Es Verger wines are produced thoughtfully, with high personal standards, and are ecologically tended and certified organic = subject to the strict regulations of the Island Council’s CBPAE body (Consell Balear Regulador de l’Agricultura Ecològica).  These delicious wines deserve the recognition received, and our tasting visit was characteristic of the quality at Es Verger … a summer dream come true!

Open Sesame
Through the rabbit hole
Finding passion, friendship
A desire for perfection
A jewel of Mallorca

Es Verger MapHow to get there: When you come from Palma to Esporles, you will see a sign for Es Verger on the left. Take that turn and follow the road for 4.5km. It is a long winding road out of town. Keep driving until you get to a tree in the middle of the road. At this fork take the left where it says Es Verger.

See Wines Tasted at Es Verger: Click here

###  ES VERGER  ###

Celler Son Vives Visit

“Millionaire views paired with artisanal winemaking techniques”

Son Vives logo 1
Banyalbufar, Mallorca, Spain
[Website in Castilian and Catalan only]

Featuring the rare native Malvasia grape, beautiful Celler Son Vives opened in 2003, and Mallorcan proprietor Toni Darder Alorda answers the phone himself, in Spanish – because as of this writing the main number for this Tasting Room is his cell phone!  A small winery, Son Vives produces approximately 15,000. bottles each year, with four labels. They distribute mostly to restaurants on the island, and to select retail stores in the lovely capital city of Palma. The location and views at Son Vives are stunning, and the coastal climate ideal for the rare Malvasia grape which is the signature of all Banyalbufar wineries, and their reason for existing in this unique spot.

Bodega Son Vives

Mariona was just locking the gate when we pulled up at 5:00, and although she had a fair drive home to Palma, she readily agreed to reopen the tasting room for us. We walked together along a broad terrace amidst olive trees, lavender bunches, and amazing views of the terraced coast and azure sea, to a small outside counter-style tasting bar where Mariona poured from inside the shady Bodega. Tasting room ambiance just doesn’t get better than this!

Bodega Son Vives_7-3-15_#5

We tried 1 mono variety, 100% Malvasia of course, and 2 blends. Sadly, we were not able to tour the bodega production area because of how late we were. However, the tasting bar is on a lovely veranda, which overlooks the Mediterranean, and the views are exquisitely beautiful! In fact, it overlooks the gorgeous Celler Ca’n Pico estate, and if we didn’t know better, we would have thought those vines belonged to Son Vives. As Mariona poured, we noticed a menu on the wall showing that they can make Pa amb Oli here (bread & olive oil with sliced meats or cheeses) to pair with their wines. We’d highly recommend that, but book in advance. Or bring your own tasting-complementary picnic for the bottle you’ll want to buy here after tasting! The tasting area is right off the ‘main’ road, but you feel like a millionaire enjoying these wines with a view.  Combining a lunchtime tasting here on the veranda with an afternoon tasting at Ca’n Pico would make for a great day!

Banyalbufar View

As we sipped their three tasting wines, we learned their property always had vineyards which were for family consumption. In 2003 the family transitioned to commercial production without losing the artisanal techniques, including hand picking the maturing Malvasia grapes.

Celler Son Vives is part of the Island group Vi de la Terra Serra de Tramuntana which is comprised of 18 municipalities in the protected UNESCO World Heritage Serra de Tramuntana, reaching from Cap de Formentor to Andratx.  It is characterized by the famous stone “bancales” which are agricultural terraces mostly made during the Moorish occupation which lasted approximately 500 years from the 700s to 1200s AD. Built of local stone and rich soil, the terraces prevent soil erosion and allow the Malvasia vine roots to grow deep in well draining guarded soil. The North-facing coast offers maximum sun time with cooler temperatures, but it is more difficult to pick and creates differing ripening times – therefore requiring a lot of individual care!

Bodega Son Vives bottles

While Celler Son Vives grows their Malvasia in this vineyard, they also make two blends, a white and a red, and those grapes are brought here for production from the hotter and dryer central island plain. Please see the tasting notes for more details on that!

Doors closing
Hearts opening
Bottles cracked
Lips smacked

Mariona was very knowledge about the wines, and we would have enjoyed touring the production areas and asking her more questions about their history and blends. However, we were very pleased with the kindness she showed us so late on a Friday evening!

We will have to return again and taste and tour with more time!

BanyalbufarMain Street, Banyalbufar

How to get there:Son Vives Map
As you leave Banyalbufar heading West in direction Estellencs you will see a sign for a parking lot on the right. You can park there and walk up or continue driving 10m and will see the sign of Son Vives from the road with 3 or 4 parking spaces out front. Very easy to find.

See Wines Tasted at Son Vives: Click here

### Celler Son Vives ###

Son Vives Wine Tasting

Son Vives logo 1

Wine Tasted:

◊    2 Whites    ◊

Juxta Mare 2014
Fusio de Blancs 2014

◊   1 Red   ◊


son vives two bottlesson vives negre2

Celler Son Vives has the most picturesque tasting area with views of the sea and terraces lined with Malvasia vines. It would be bliss to be able to watch the sun set while sipping on a chilled white. Son Vives makes two native Mallorcan grape mono-varietal wines, their Malvasia dry & sweet, one white blend, and one red blend made from grapes that come from the warmer, dryer center of the island.  Our tasting guide, Mariona, was informative and a pleasure to have helping us. We are thankful that she took the time to have a short visit with us late on a Friday summer evening. Cheers!

Juxta Mare 2014
Grapes: Malvasia 100%

Son vives juxtamare front Son Vives Juxtamare back

Tawnee: I always love tasting a mono-varietal wine because it helps me to really understand what the flavors of the grape are supposed to be like. This wine has fruitful aromas and is subtly dry with a distinct finish! Yum.

Merie: Lightly dry, with hints of ripe fruit and honey, the bottle sweat invitingly from the perfect chill. This Malvasia grape is the signature variety of Banyalbufar, and the reason for being here. Apparently Son Vives also produces a Juxta Mare Malvasia Dulce, but it was not offered in our tasting.  Juxta Mare means ‘Beside the Sea’ in Mallorcan:  The coastal climate is so important to the grape, and the sea views critical to the way of life!

Fusio de Blancs 2014
Grapes: Malvasía
Prensal Blanc

Son Vives Fusio de Blancs Front Son Vives Fusio de Blancs back

Tawnee: This wine has a beautiful color and I like the name. A fusion of whites – with all white grapes! Also, it has been in oak which is not common for white wines. However, not my favorite, but that doesn’t surprise me as I don’t like Chardonnay very much.

Merie: Next Mariona poured the Fusio de Blancs, which we had enjoyed earlier in a local cafe on the main street of Banyalbufar. This delicious wine is made from Malvasia, Chardonnay, and Prensal Blanc grapes, and fermented in oak barrel.  The Chardonnay and Prensal grapes come from the center of the island in Sencelles and Santa Eugenia because they do not grow well in coastal Banyalbufar, and require the hotter, dryer inland plain.

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Manto Negro
son vives negre

Tawnee: I love red wine! Their Negre has a good fruitful aroma and a dominant presence in mouth. I enjoyed this wine more knowing that Son Vives is being resourceful and adding a red wine to their wine production by having a plot of land in the center of the island.

Merie:   Last, we tasted their red Negre 12 Meses. It is a Crianza aged one year in oak – hence “12 meses” – and made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Manto Negro grapes.  It is produced entirely in Banyalbufar, but the red grapes are grown in the island’s interior wine country, near Santa Maria.  A perfectly good red, (which normally I prefer), but today the Whites ruled and no coincidence that they contain the rare and wonderful Malvasia grape.

Bodega Son Vives sign

Thank you Mariona!

See Son Vives visit: Click here

### Celler Son Vives ###

Ca’n Pico Wine Tasting

logo Can Pico

Wine Tasted

◊  2 Whites  ◊

Malvasia 2013
Malvasia Generosa

can pico bottle

Cellar Ca’n Pico loves Malvasia grape. It is the grape they use and have grown on their property since the 1800’s. They only commercially produce one bottle of white wine and have created a sherry wine that only bodega visitors get to try. Ca’n Pico lovingly recovered the Malvasia grape it in the late 1980’s after it completely died out from the phylloxera and have been perfecting this mono- varietal wine ever since. Their wine is delicate and refreshing.

Malvasia 2013
Grapes: 100% Malvasia

Can Pico frontCan Pico Back

Tawnee: A delicious white wine! I am not a white wine drinker and I loved this one. It has a subtle sweet beginning and a dry finish. The aromas are floral, perhaps like honeysuckle. Perfect for sipping chilled in the summer on a balcony looking out onto the sea. Their passion for their Malvasia grape can be tasted in the bottle.

Merie: Juan uncorked a bottle of their Malvasia at the cool room temperature of the Bodega. It was gorgeous, so different from the Chardonnay and Pinot Griegio I am used to! It was strong but subtle, dry yet dimensional, a memory of the sugars without actual sweetness. We’d had the same bottle perfectly chilled earlier that day in the local restaurant to complement a mixed Pa amb Oli lunch (a local favorite: open faced rustic bread slices drizzled with olive oil and tomato crushed across it, then topped with meats or cheeses). Malvasia is best served properly chilled I thought, but excellent at both temperatures. Tawnee loved this bottle enough to buy a bottle there, and has it on her favorites list.

Malvasia Generosa
Grape: 100% Malvasia

Malvasia Gernerosa

Tawnee: We got to try a special ‘aired’ wine similar to a Jerez wine or Sherry. It’s a sweet wine with 15.5% alcohol. They don’t fill the barrels up to the top so they can oxidize. It was sweet and golden. It would be ideal after a big meal and coffee. Sadly, I don’t think they sell this commercially yet. However, our experience was perfect, he even used a cane to delicately remove the wine from the oak barrels and pour into our glasses. Memorable!

Merie: Then Juan walked over to a far oak barrel. Lowering a length of hollow cane into a hole in the top of the barrel, he sealed the top with his thumb to remove a serving of wine, and released it into our glasses. What a slice of life! It is made by the old method of the Marqués: It must be 16 % alcohol or more to bottle Juan told us, because when aged with air (= allowing a % of air in barrel), 15% alcohol or less becomes vinegar. They do not produce it for sale at this time: “Much work and little demand,” so it is now just for family and friends, a labor of love. This wine was sweet and viscous, bright and luxurious; a super aperitif or after dinner treat. The Malvasia grape really IS generous!

Bodega Ca'n Pico Juan Tomas

Thank you Juan Tomás!

See Ca’n Pico visit: Click here

###   Cellar Ca’n Pico   ###

Bodega Son Bordils Visit

“Wine with character, consistently good and modestly priced”

Finca Son Bordils was the first Winery we visited, and we both hold it as one of our all time favorite wine tasting experiences because of how much fun we had, how much we learned, and the door that it opened to a change in our lives.

Note: This blog entry is actually a fusion of two visits, one in April of 2014 when the magic first happened, the other in the summer of 2015 when we were on our personal Mallorcan Wine Trail and we had to go back with our new knowledge and further questions!

logo son
Inca, Mallorca, Spain

Son Bordils Vinyard

April 2014: The winery Finca Son Bordils, perched in the rolling mid-island plains outside of Inca, might be the oldest winery on the island – there is some debate. Founded in 1433 by D. Joan Bordils i Pont, the current owners are Ramón and Pedro Coll, and the Vineyard has been in their family for over 100 years. After the grape phylloxera plague, the family completely replanted 34 hectares of land with Chardonnay, Muscat, Prensal Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, Callet, and Manto Negro grapes, and built this beautiful and modern winery in the center, where we arrived for our tasting. They currently produce 150,000-200,000 liters/bottles per year, and are members of the Island organization Vi de la Terra Mallorca. These wines have character, and are consistently good and modestly priced.

26.07.15 067

When we arrived there, the marvelous owner Ramón Coll told us that unfortunately, the person who normally pours the tastings was out dealing with a personal matter. But as it happened, Jaume was there. He takes the Bordils wines to restaurants and pours for potential clients, and he kindly agreed to give us a tasting. It was the beginning of the serendipity and island hospitality that has been characteristic of our entire tasting experience and is part of what makes this wine region so marvelous to visit.

Mostly in Spanish we all got talking, and Jaume got pouring, and soon Jaume was telling us all about the history of wine on the islands, of trains from the interior island loaded with wine or grapes, going to the Cellars on the cooler coasts, and then out for export to mainland Spain and nearby France. He taught us about the phylloxera blight era in Europe and how Mallorca had almost 30 halcyon years when Mainland had the blight and Mallorca did not, and Mallorcan wines were in high demand and very lucrative. Sadly, phylloxera arrived in Mallorca in 1891 and devastated the island’s vineyards. He told us about the history of commerce in the Mediterranean, from when the Phoenicians were thought to have brought the first vines to the island in early BC, and wine cultivation began in earnest in Mallorca around 120 BC when Rome conquered Mallorca. We talked and tasted for what seemed like hours, enjoying unique wines from the back that are normally reserved for special clients: It was a Friday late afternoon, bottles were open which would be bad by Monday’s work day, so we enjoyed a generosity and friendship that might otherwise not have been available.

T at son bordils

So you know, Phylloxera are sap-sucking insects, originally native to North America and related to aphids. They infect the grape roots and leaves, ultimately restricting nutrients and water to the vines. At this time there is no cure, but the rootstock that came from North America when Europe was replanted is resistant. American vintners had been given clippings of the famous European grapes, and grafted them onto American grape rootstock, with the great success of American wine industry today. In a graced turn of events, after the European Phylloxera plague, the American vintners brought back clippings from those same grapes, and resistant rootstock, and Europe was able to replant it’s own varietals. Jaume told us that there were 33,000 hectors of grapes planted on the island before the phylloxera blight, and that there are around 1,500 now.

Basic timeline:

  • 1862 Phylloxera blight in France, spreading across Europe.
  • 1865 Wineries and vineyards in Mallorca in peak production.
  • 1891 The blight arrived in Mallorca and virtually all grapevines were killed.
  • 1990 Island wide replanting of grapes began.

Before we knew it, we had missed the opportunity to make Merie’s train! But, as kind fate would have it, Jaume was from the same town on the other side of the island, and he was headed home from work as soon as we were done! So off they went chatting happily in Spanish all the long drive home (fabulously challenging for Merie who is still learning!).

After that experience we were hooked, and the glorious idea of further self-educating and tasting at Mallorcan wineries was born.

26.07.15 083

July 2015: We went back to Son Bordils in order to taste their wines again with our newfound interest in self-education. It was late on a Friday afternoon like last time, an odd coincidence. This time owner Ramón Coll poured for us so his normal Tasting Staff could go home on time. He remembered us, and that he and Tawnee are Friends on Facebook after our last visit!

Wine Son Bordils

Ramón is an amazing teacher and wanting to help us learn. When we told him that we are on a mission to understand wines, the first thing he said is that temperature is critical when tasting. A wine does not taste the same from one temperature to another, and tasting is for understanding the true character of the wine; different from enjoying a glass of wine where it inevitably warms in the glass and opens like petals of flavors. Every time he took out a bottle from the cooler, or had one out on the table from a previous pour, he checked the temperature of the bottle with his hand to ensure that his wines were at their best! Pouring our first white, the Blanc de Raim Blanc of 100% Prensal Blanc grapes — see tasting notes, below — he told us that Bordils is the family name of the founder who came to Mallorca from Girona in Mainland Cataluña in the 1200s with Jaume 1st (James 1 the Conqueror, in Catalan: Jaume el Congueridor). This family brought vines with them and started their production of wine in the middle of the island.

26.07.15 087Click Here for details of: Wines Tasted

After only the first glass of white, Ramón said “You must see how it happens if you want to understand what is going on.” So, even though the bodega was at closing time on a Friday afternoon – he whisked us into working area to show us how it is all done. As we walked around the fermentation room, filled with shining steel tanks, he told us about the process. It has all to do with the yeast and sugar! There are two fermentation processes.  The first is called Primary Fermentation, which is the conversion of sugar to alcohol by the yeasts.  Secondary Fermentation (also known as malolactic fermentation) is when naturally tart malic acid is converted to lactic acid which is more mellow.  The yeasts come from the skin on outside of the grape. How much and the quality all depend on the land around it, the climate that year, and what you decide to put on your grapes. The yeast adds flavor to the wine and convert the sugars into alcohol, for every 17g of sugar= 1% alcohol. When all the sugar has been consumed you have a dry wine, not all consumed leaves what is known as residual sugars. He commented that this is one of the most difficult parts of the process, and sometimes the bodegas have to add yeast in the end to ensure that the whole process is finished to taste. Red wines generally ferment with seeds and skins to ensure color and tannins, generally whites are pressed then separated from the mash before fermentation.

26.07.15 074

They close at 6:00pm, and again it was after that – but the front doors were still unlocked and suddenly a family group of 15 German tourists filled the tasting area. We told Ramón that he should attend to them because we are only two, and we have many more questions! So back we went to the tasting room!

As we tasted, we talked about how the wines were made. One of the important things that we learned was about the labeling laws in the area. For instance, to put the name of a grape varietal on the bottle, say Merlot, it only needs to have 85% of the grape inside! We found this extremely Interesting as now we are going to try and find out who produces 100% Merlot, and who makes a “blend,” and how that might contribute to why sometimes we can’t identify a Merlot wine right off. Possibly this is more specifically important to the native grapes on Mallorca, as some are difficult to create strong mono-varietal wines from, and hence many Mallorcan winemakers create blends to get the colors and flavors they want. Looking forward to trying some Prensal Blanc, Manto Negro, and Callet mono varietals =).

The group of German tourists bought two cases. We were thankful because we are all about education right now and not bulk purchasing. We did buy two bottles before we left, but we felt like that serendipity group paid for Ramón’s staying late with us on a Friday night, AGAIN.

And we look forward to coming back and finishing that production facility tour someday!

map son bordilsHow to get there:
Leaving Inca direction Sineu it is 4.1 km on your right. It is also easily located as it is across the Inca-Sineu road from the train station Enllaç.

### Finca Son Bordils ###

See Wines Tasted at Son Bordils: Click here

### Bodega Son Bordils ###

Son Bordils Wine Tasting

logo son bordils

Wines Tasted:

◊   3 Whites   ◊      

Blanc de Raim Blanc 2014
Chardonnay 2014
Muscat 2014

      ◊   1 Rose   ◊  

Rosat 2014

◊   4 Reds   ◊

Merlot 2007
Cabernet 2007
Bisbals 2008
Negre 2010

Son Bordils wine tasted

We learned that all Finca Son Bordils whites and rosés are young, with no time in oak barrels, and that they mainly produce mono-varietal wines and only 2 blends.  Again, Ramón was meticulous on the temperature of the pour and firsts sips.

Blanc de Raim Blancs 2014

Grapes: Premsal

Son Bordils Blanc de Blancs

Tawnee: This is the best white from the bodega. My absolute favorite! I don’t know what it is going on with me, but this summer I am loving whites! This is a very common name and today for the first time, I find out why it is called Blanc de Blancs – it is a white wine made from a white grape! Of course, but if nobody ever told me, I never would have guessed it!

Merie: First Ramón poured the Blanc de Raim Blanc of 100% Prensal Blanc grapes.  Prensal Blanc is believed to have been on island since the Phoenicians in BC so it is considered “naitive.”  It has a pleasing light tropical and citrus aroma, with good fruit taste.  Ramón called it “fresco.”  Unexpectedly, this was our favorite of everything we tasted today and we each went home with a bottle.


Chardonnay 2014

Grapes: Chardonnay 88%
Reisling 8%
Viognier 4%

Son Bordils ChardonnaySon Bordils Chardonnay Back

Tawnee: I am in search of a Chardonnay that I like, this one was good, but not exquisite for my taste. Here is an example of how the bodega can put the name Chardonnay on the bottle, but not have 100% single grape.

Merie: The Chardonnay came next.  It is titled Chardonnay on the label because it meets the DO requirement of 85% Chardonnay grapes, but in fact this bottle was 88% Chardonnay, and 12% Riesling and Viognier to bolster the Chardonnay to their taste.  It is lovely and full-bodied with bright ripe fruit – no oak!  A good friend of mine who lives in London phone-orders several cases of this wine each year before summer starts, and it’s delivered to their Mallorcan mountain casa when they first arrive!

Moscat 2014
100% Moscat,
(but different varieties)
Moscatel de Grano Menudo
Moscatel de Frontignan,
Muscat d’Alsace or Moscato d’Asti.

Son Bordils Moscat

Tawnee: I like that this wine is with the name Muscat, but that it has many different types of Muscat grape. I like the originality of the name and the flavor.

Merie: The Muscat is nicely dry, not a sweet desert wine, with the unmistakable flavor and aroma of this famous grape.  I loved this!

Rosat 2014
Monastrell 52%
Merlot 48%

Son Bordils RosatSon Bordils Rosat back

Tawnee: This is my second favorite wine from Son Bordils. An excellent rose to accompany summer lunches.

Merie: This Rossat rosé is made from two red grapes, 52% Monastrell and 48% Merlot grapes and has a classic dark pinky-orange appearance.  The aroma was fine, but the taste was better!  Normally they make two Rosés, one 100% Monastrell and one 100% Merlot, but this year the yield was low so they made a blend of the two to good effect.

Merlot 100%

Bordils Merlot26.07.15 081

Tawnee: As the bottle breathed, the flavors opened up. A very good red wine, full of flavor and body.

Merie: Next Ramón poured the 100% Merlot and I really wanted some cheese and crackers to go with this lovely wine.  The aromas were nice, the flavors better.

Cabernet Sauvingon
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvingon

Cab Sav frontSon Bordils Cabernet

Tawnee: I am beginning to see I like Cabernet Sauvingon. A solid, bold experience.

Merie: The Cabernet had a gorgeously balanced aroma and body, and the finish very clean, a really nice staple wine.

Grapes: Merlot
Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvingon

Bordils Bisbal frontBordils Bisbal back

Tawnee: I like it! It has a very unique flavor- spicy and meaty. The name comes from the special name of the pine forest on Son Bordils- Ses Bisbals- which is like a bishop, and is fitting because it is where the little church is on the land.

Merie: Next Ramón poured us Bisbals, named after the old island Finca/farm house estate.  It is a blend of Merlot, Manto Negro (another “native grape”), and Cabernet, with 14.5% vol. and a nice tannin structure.  The aftertaste lingers and makes you want another sip.

Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Bordils NegreBordils Negre Back

Tawnee: Full of ripe red fruits and fennel. This is a great dinner wine at a great price!

Merie: On to their Negre (which means black in Mallorcan but is used to mean red in wines).  14.5% vol., 18 months in American, French, and Hungarian Oak barrels.  It is a blend of Manto Negro, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Callet (again, native).  They recommend it is best served at a cool 17-18° Celsius (62-64° F).  Dryer than the Bisbals, Ramón told us that the Callet grape has balsamic flavors when the vines are young.  He tasted with us and perceived flavors of red fruits, licorice/fennel, and toasty cocoa.  Yum.

Son Bordils Ramon

Thank you Ramon!

See Son Bordils Visit: Click here

### Bodega Son Bordils ###