Sunday, May 10, 2015

Getting Wild & Wacky on Mallorca

The third stop on my Wild & Wacky Wine Week is in Spain - to the Spanish island of Mallorca to be exact. I was rather surprised to find a bottle of Mallorcan wine in our Vancouver market. On top of that, it turns out that this baby gets me another two grape varieties for my Wine Century Club tally (#s 181 and 182); so, I'm happy it made its way here.

1912.  2010 Muac! (Mallorca IGP - Spain)

Like many parts of Spain (and the rest of the world for that matter), Mallorca is seeing a resurgence and modernization of its wine industry. Although Pliny the Elder wrote of Mallorcan wine back in the first century and the island's wines have been hailed as some of the best in days past, the industry was largely concentrated on producing solely for local consumption during the 20th century. Most of Mallorca's production is still sold locally - largely to the hordes of tourists that flock to the island each summer - however, some of the wineries are introducing new equipment and increased use of stainless steel fermentation tanks and oak barrels and the improved wines are starting to find a bit of an export market.

The modernization of the island's winemaking often sees a marriage of local, distinct grapes and popular international grapes. This bottle of Muac! is one such union. I opened a 2010 vintage but I see on the winery website that the 2011 vintage is made with roughly equal thirds of Callet, Manto Negro and Cab Sauv. Various search results state that the blend was much the same for 2010. Unfortunately, I didn't find a whole lot of other information about the winery or the wine.

Naturally, I headed to my copy of Jancis Robinson (et al)'s Wine Grapes to look up Callet and Manto Negro. Both grapes are unique to Mallorca and are half-siblings as the two grapes are crosses of other obscure indigenous varieties. Both are known for delivering lighter bodied, red-fruited wines but older vines and reduced production levels are seeing wines with finer tannins, more depth and darker fruit on the palate. Adding the Cab Sauv to the blend only serves to increase that intensity.

We found the wine to be a nice fit - in terms of body and fruit - to our grilled pork chop. It was an easy drinking sip and a welcome introduction to this Mediterranean island.

If you're jonesing for more information on the Mallorcan wine scene as a whole, take a look at this post by the folks at Catavino. They know Spanish and Portuguese wines way more than I could ever hope to.

In the mean time, I have another new grape variety to write about.

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