Son Prim Wines Tasted

son prim logo

Wines Tasted:

¸◊   1 White   ◊

Blanc de Merlot 2012

◊   1 Rosé   ◊

Rossat 2013

◊   4 Reds   ◊

Merlot 2012
Syrah 2012
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Cup 2013

Son Prim_7-29-15_#29

This is a red skinned grape bodega! Every bottle is made with red grapes! How unique! Additionally, Son Prim keeps it simple – all single variety wines, with the exception of one blended coupage of that years yields. Every bottle you can tell has been selected for excellence and carefully worked, we saw a testament to this while on tour. The quality control, specifically temperature, is at its max, and it is notable in the finished product. We would be happy seeing someone bring any bottle from Son Prim to a dinner party!


 

#1
Blanc de Merlot 2012
Grapes: Merlot 100%

Son Prim Blanc de Merlot

Comment:

Tawnee: A white wine from a red grape! This wine goes directly from fermentation to bottle, but for some reason on the nose I identify a slight woodish aroma. I like it! It has a straw color and is delicious to enjoy sitting on the patio watching the grapes grow.

Merie: Our first wine was the Blanc de Merlot 2012. Exciting for me to taste a white wine from a red grape. So it spent minimal time with its skin and seeds, which gives it a whole new character than what we normally think of a Merlot. This wine is 13.5% alcohol, and a lovely pale yellow. For me it had aromas of the vine wood, but no fruit. The thick tears of alcohol on the glass made me think it would be sweet, but it is not. It is dry, fresh and tart, with notes of black pepper and hints of before-ripe yellow fruit like melon or peach.


#2
Rossat 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro
Other red skinned varieties

Son Prim Rossat

Comment:

Tawnee: The Manto Negro grape – a staple in the Mallorca Wine Trail. This Rosé goes directly to bottle from the stainless steel tanks. It has a light plum color and tastes of sour apples and prunes. I would love to have tried it with some crackers or cheese. A great wine to serve with the appetizers at a summer party!

Merie: Rossat 2013 is also 13.5% alcohol. The primary grape here is Manto Negro, blended with other of their red varietals for support. No oak with this rosé, it is aged in bottle for a refreshing bright appeal. Wanting to be served chilled, it is nicely dry with aromas again of vine, alcohol, strawberry and pepper. The flavor too is strawberry without sugar, and tart green pepper. As it opened in the heat of the day I detected more aroma, fuller, sweeter (not sugary), maybe plum?


#3
Merlot 2012
Grapes: Merlot 100%

Son Prim Merlot

Comment:

Tawnee: A cherry in the glass. Now the red Merlot grape in its element – a red wine! This wine is one year in oak. The aromas are of musk and the taste like gummy bears (yes gummy bears!) – smooth and with a dry finish. A great wine to combine with a honey glazed ham, or at a Thanksgiving feast!

Merie: Basking in the sun and loving the view, the third wine we tasted was their Merlot 2012. Aged for one year in French oak, the aroma is of dark forest berries and pepper, the taste dry and oaky. A nice clean Merlot, it presents evenly in the palate, and is lightly robust and fresh.


#4
Syrah 2012
Grapes: Syrah 100%

Son Prim Syrah

Comment:

Tawnee: This is a great wine – slight aroma of plums and matching in color of the match. This is a wine with character and some acidity, but a smooth and delicious finish.

Merie: The Syrah 2012 is a gorgeous dark color in the glass. I found the opening aroma enticing, mouth watering, perhaps better than the flavor. The flavor is lightly peppery and nicely dry, with subtle but present tannins.


#5
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 100%

Son Prim Cabernet Sauvignon

Comments:

Tawnee: Bacon bits! Yes – the aroma of this wine is bacon bits! It has a bold spicy flavor and deep dark red when poured. Just delicious. It would pair well with grilled pork or a meat and potatoes meal. This is my favorite wine from Son Prim. Of course I bought one to take home!

Merie: Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is dark, voluptuous wine has notes of dark berries and spices, in both aroma and flavor. It is rich yet bright. Aged in oak, it has the support that lends, but no strong oaky flavor.


#6
Cup 2013
Grapes: Syrah
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot

Son Prim Cup

Comment:

Tawnee: Coupage – a blend of the three single grape red wines – Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Every year this wine is a different percent of each grape. It is a very deep cherry almost plum color. The aroma is sweet, raisinish with a hint of coffee. It has a full beginning, and is slightly sweeter than the Cabernet Sauvignon that we just tried. I like that it will change every year according to their taste.

Merie: Our last tasting was the Cup Son Prim 2013. Cup is short for coupage, and each year they combine a different selection of grapes depending on the highlights of the harvest. This year their coupage is very berry and chocolate, with bright red fruit notes. Refreshing and dry, well suited to a good meal of meat or red sauces.


Son Prim_7-29-15_#38

Thank you Jaime and Marianne!

Please see Son Prim Visit: Click Here

### Son Prim ###

Advertisements

Es Verger Wine Tasting

Es Verger Logo

Wines Tasted:

 ◊   1 white   ◊

Fita del Ram 2010

◊ 1 Rose ◊

Sensual

◊   2 Reds   ◊

Ses Marjades 2008
Els Rojals 2010

Bodega Es Verger_7-3-15_#2

Es Verger pays attention to detail. They put quality before quantity and have set the standards high being an organic winery. We tasted four of the bottles available, because their Pinot Noir is a specialty wine that Miguel produces only in small quantities when the harvest is good enough for his standards. The bottle in this picture was the last one from the year, the rest of the stock sold out. He has very loyal clients internationally and also from the island’s first class restaurants. We learned all his red wines are aged in French oak. All processing is done on this land and in the tasting cellar we were in. It is a beautiful small scale family production with exquisite results.


#1
Fit del Ram 2010
Grapes: Viognier

es verger fita del ram

Comment:
Tawnee: The Fita del Ram was a sweet delicious wine. Perfectly refreshing on a hot day! It had fruity aromas and was fresh and smooth. I think it would be great after a meal instead of dessert!

Merie: We started with the Fita Del Ram, made from Viognier grapes. I don’t drink sweet wines normally, but this was light and delicious, with a smooth honey-like texture. I bought a bottle of this treat for a dear friend of mine who grows Viognier in Napa, secretly hoping he’ll bring it out for our band of friends!


#2
Sensual
Grapes: Mante Negro 100%

Sensual

Comment:
Tawnee: Wonderful summer wine. I love that it is made with 100% Mante Negro grapes. It is a true native Mallorcan delicate wine with a name to match the feeling it gives you.

Merie: Next Miguel poured their rosé, Sensual, made from Manto Negro grapes. I don’t normally drink rosé wines either, yet found this one extremely drinkable, fresh and lightly dry. If you haven’t liked rosés, rethink with this!


#3
Els Rojals 2010
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot

Els Rojals

Comment:
Tawnee: This wine is delicious organic Mallorcan wine. You can taste the passion and attention to detail when you drink it. I think it would be lovely with a steak and mashed potatoes.

Merie: On to Els Rojals, their “everyday red” and a Manto Negro, Cabernet and Merlot blend. I would drink it every day too and found it really well balanced, thorough, smooth, and full-bodied. I loved this ‘modest table wine,’ and proudly bought a bottle for my Uncle who lives in the central California Santa Ynez Valley and has no shortage of good wine!


#4
Ses Marjades 2008
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot

Ses Marjades

Comment:
Tawnee:
This is an incredible wine! I just love it! I have re-named it the the black pearl because it is like the sea at night that flows smoothly and luxuriously over your tongue when you taste it. It was delicious on its own, but I can only imagine it with a good red meat. Divine. I bought a bottle immediately.

Merie: The label name Ses Marjades means the [stone] terraces – for which Mallorca is famous. Aged in new French oak casks, this is the award winning red for the special occasion. Made from Manto Negro, Cabernet and Merlot grapes, Miguel called the flavor “larga” and advised to let it breath in a wide mouthed glass container 20 min. In fact it is not a pretentious or overly serious wine, it is very balanced and complex, and perfect to honor one’s guests with.


EV Sign crop

Thank you Miguel!

See Es Verger visit: Click here

###  ES VERGER  ###

Celler Son Vives Visit

“Millionaire views paired with artisanal winemaking techniques”

Son Vives logo 1
Banyalbufar, Mallorca, Spain
www.sonvives.com
[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
Gorgeous

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   ◊

Negre

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!


#1
Juxta Mare 2014
Grapes: Malvasia 100%

Son vives juxtamare front Son Vives Juxtamare back

Comment:
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!


#2
Fusio de Blancs 2014
Grapes: Malvasía
Chardonnay
Prensal Blanc

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

Comment:
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.


#3
Negre
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Syrah
Manto Negro
son vives negre

Comment:
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 ###

Cellar Ca’n Pico Visit

“Preserving a rich history and deep passion in a bottle”

logo Can Picowww.cellercanpico.com
Banyalbufar, Mallorca, Spain

As we started the day’s adventure – driving to the gorgeous stone-terraced northwest coast of the island and the small town of Banyalbufar – Tawnee described the road we were on as “Literally breathtaking!” A nice double-entendre because it was so narrow and steep that she was actually on edge. There are three wineries in this gorgeous, cliffy coastal village, which seemed odd — but it’s not: Here is where the rare  Malvasia grape is grown to perfection.

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#26

A bit about Malvasia: It grows well with coastal climate and mountain temperatures, and has been planted for centuries in Banyalbufar. A rare variety, it is also grown in Sardinia, Tenerife, and outside Barcelona in Sitges. Dry, it pairs well with fish, and white meats, and if allowed its sugars, makes a nice aperitif. This grape itself is high in sugar and they call it the generous grape, “La Generosa,” because it’s sugars allow a higher level of alcohol than most whites.  It is thought by some have been brought by the Phoenicians centuries BC, and to be the first grape on the island. It is certainly considered one of the few “natives.” Another name for the Malvasia grape variety is Malmsey.

In the mid to late 1800s a nobleman, the Marqués de la Cenia, grew Malvasia grapes and made his wine here in Banyalbufar, and took it to Madrid where it was prized among the wealthy.  He was a contemporary of the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria who is famous for buying up and preserving wild areas of this terraced northern coast.  No coincidence, Malvasia is also planted miles away in S’Estaca, outside of Valldemossa, one of the Archduke’s notable properties and recently owned by actor Michael Douglas.

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#1
So, our first stop in Banyalbufar was the Cellar Ca’n Pico winery. This is possibly the most beautiful vineyard in all Mallorca, perched on broad terraces overlooking the sea. It is necessary to make a reservation for two reasons: 1) to schedule a visit (not set up for drop-ins) and 2) to make sure the gates are open so turning around on the narrow road is less stressful!

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#3Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#4

It seemed like we were pulling up to a private home, a grand old Mallorcan Estate (Finca). Well we were, and it turns out that all the wine production for Cellar Ca’n Pico takes place there at Finca Ca’n Pico, in a smallish Bodega that might otherwise be a large garage under the house. Our wine guide, the wonderful Juan Tomàs, met us as we parked, and opened the “garage door” to reveal a large stainless grape press and familiar steel tanks in the first room, then a tasting counter, bottles and barrels in the next. Tall and lanky with big brown eyes, Juan has been the “Bodeguero” at Ca’n Pico for 28 years since the current planting. They grow 80% of their Malvasia grapes right there at the terraced estate, buying a small amount more from other local vineyards.

We spent a long time talking with Juan, and we learned so much! Like most others, this tour and tasting were done entirely in Spanish, no challenge for Tawnee!

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#14

First Juan Tomas showed us ‘la prensa,’ a well-crafted Austrian press to carefully break the grape skins amongst whatever stems are present after a hand-picked harvest. Next they move the mash to temperature controlled steel tanks, cool so no fermenting takes place as the sediments and particulates fall. At that temperature yeasts are inactive, and in one month the grape juice is stable and clarified, ready for further production.  The whole process from growing to bottle is done here at the Ca’n Pico estate, “Aqui nos hacemos todo.” Some goes straight from fermenting tank to bottle, a small amount goes to Oak first.

Bodega Ca'n Pico bottles

1988 is the oldest bottle of Malvasia from Cellar Ca’n Pico post phylloxera blight. 150 years ago they had more vineyards. Then for the 30 years of phylloxera they had no vineyards, and sold almonds, olives, carob, and tomatoes. Juan told the story that during phylloxera, one man in the pueblo of Banyalbufar guarded and tended his few failing Malvasia vines and made his family table wine. After phylloxera a friend took a cutting and planted, as did another.  But the product wouldn’t get above 12% alcohol, so it was making low quality wine. They added sulfites to stabilize the wine, and at the same time took cuttings of the vines to the local University of Baleares Islands (UIB)  biology department and learned the vines had 5 viruses. The University worked on them for 10 years and created a strong and resistant strain they could replant, and those are today’s Malvasia vines of Banyalbufar. Ca’n Pico held out and kept some of those vines up until the 1950s when they took them all out.  However, in 1980’s, Mr. Gabriel Canaves Picornell bought the farm and decided that with the help of our Juan Tomàs they would recover the Malvasia wine of the past. Through the advancements of science and passion they succeeded! They only produce about 5000 liters of wine every year, or 5000 bottles, and it is crafted to perfection.

Making only one label and with one grape, 100% Malvasia, they might be the only true mono-grape winery on the island, making them doubly special – the most beautiful and the most specialized.

Can Pico bottlesClick here for details: Wines Tasted

We tasted the Malvasia at the cool summer room-temperature of the Bodega. We’d had the bottle perfectly chilled earlier that day in the local restaurant where we’d had lunch. Better served properly chilled I thought, but excellent at both temperatures. Tawnee loved this bottle enough to buy one there, and has it on her favorites list.

Then Juan Tomas walked over to a far barrel, and lowering a length of hollow cane into a hole in the top of the barrel, he then sealed the top with his thumb to remove a serving of wine and released it into our glasses. It was the Malvasia Crianza Oxidativa, also known as Malvasia Generosa, which is made by the old method of the Marqués: It must be 16 % alcohol or more to bottle, because it is aged with air (allowing a % of air in barrel), and 15% alcohol or less becomes vinegar. It is much like Spanish Jerez, Sherry and Port in method and flavors. It is a sweeter wine. They do not produce it for sale at this time: Much work and little demand, so it is now for family and friends, a labor of love. Ca’n Pico began making it again in 1990 and producing a few in-house bottles in 2000.

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#17

Juan told us that only a few decades ago, most Mallorcan wines were mediocre because they didn’t have the current technology of temperature control. Merie remembers that time!!!   Especially with white, which must be around 10 degrees for first days of particulate separation, then ferment at controlled temperatures of 14-18 degrees. Of course Ca’n Pico used the traditional methods before Phylloxera, then replanted “recently” and instituted modern technology and methods, producing today’s tasty Malvasia label wine.

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#24

After thoroughly enjoying our tasting and talk, Juan Tomas walked us around to see the closest vineyard terraces, and we basked in the beauty of this property, it’s breathtaking terraced seaside terrain and views.

Bodega Ca'n Pico_7-3-15_#5

How to get there: WheMap Can Picon you leave Banyabufar going in directions Estellencs you will see a sign for the Parking on the right. You take the turn directly before that. There is a little sign that says: Ca’n Pico on the stone wall. Yes, the road is narrow and no there are no barriers. It is an adventure worth taking to try their wine.

See Wines Tasted at Can Pico: Click here

###   Cellar Ca’n Pico   ###

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.


#1
Malvasia 2013
Grapes: 100% Malvasia

Can Pico frontCan Pico Back

Comment:
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.

#2
Malvasia Generosa
Grape: 100% Malvasia

Malvasia Gernerosa

Comment:
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 bordilswww.sonbordils.com
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.


#1
Blanc de Raim Blancs 2014

Grapes: Premsal

Son Bordils Blanc de Blancs

Comment:
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.


#2

Chardonnay 2014

Grapes: Chardonnay 88%
Reisling 8%
Viognier 4%

Son Bordils ChardonnaySon Bordils Chardonnay Back

Comment:
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!


#3
Moscat 2014
100% Moscat,
(but different varieties)
Moscatel de Grano Menudo
Moscatel de Frontignan,
Muscat d’Alsace or Moscato d’Asti.

Son Bordils Moscat

Comment:
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!


#4
Rosat 2014
Monastrell 52%
Merlot 48%

Son Bordils RosatSon Bordils Rosat back

Comment:
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.


#5
Merlot
Merlot 100%

Bordils Merlot26.07.15 081

Comment:
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.

#6
Cabernet Sauvingon
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvingon

Cab Sav frontSon Bordils Cabernet

Comment:
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.


#7
Bisbals
Grapes: Merlot
Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvingon

Bordils Bisbal frontBordils Bisbal back

Comment:
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.

#8
Negre
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Callet

Bordils NegreBordils Negre Back

Comment:
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 ###