Premier Vin Son Mayol
VdT Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Bodega Son Mayol, 2018
It starts on the palate smoothly with a great intensity of taste. Youthful, fresh and muscular, it pampers the palate with palpable but very fine tannins. Ripe plums, blueberries and sweet cherries combine with liquorice and the fine scent of noble wood and of the finest tobacco. A great marriage of French elegance, masterful skill and Mediterranean charm!
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Spain – Variety and perfection
“Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember...,” begins Don Quixote's odyssey.
The most famous part is definitely when Don Quixote thinks windmills are his enemy and wants to fight them – until they nearly kill him. It’s possible there was a bit too much of the La Mancha wine at play. Spanish vines fight for their survival in rugged landscapes, battling fierce drought and rough soils. But they fight well.
Mallorca: new premium wines from old varieties
The party island is showing an entirely different, more delightful side: every year, more premium wines are produced in Mallorca. While international varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot yield excellent wines in Mallorca’s terroir, top winemakers increasingly use the best native varieties, such as Manto Negro, Callet and Prensal Blanc. The results are independent wines with Mediterranean charm and surprising freshness.
This new bodega lies not far away from the lively city of Palma, and – we are convinced of this – will come to set new standards on Majorca.
The ingeniously simple building fits harmoniously into the gently hilly landscape. In the distance, you can see the capital, and with a clear view, even the world-famous gothic cathedral, built from vibrant golden sandstone. The equipment has been selected according to the state of the art, and leaves nothing to be desired. The required power is acquired using solar cells, and all the water used is purified under strict monitoring before being fed back into circulation. This is all the more important, as for years now, Majorca has been suffering from a water shortage.
The first vines were planted in 2007/2008. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot – the classic Bordeaux varieties – are distributed across 35 different plots, occupying around 20 hectares in total. In Majorca’s warm Mediterranean climate, the slightly elevated position and differing alignment of the individual vineyards represent an advantage when it comes to pressing elegant, long-lasting wines. Cultivation is by biological and biodynamic methods, always under the utmost care.
The first commercial vintage under its own name appeared in 2014. The winemaker is no less than Patrick Léon, former oenologist at Château Mouton-Rothschild for 20 years, and adviser to the world’s most prestigious vineyards, such as Opus One or Almaviva. Under his aegis, Son Mayol’s wines have been propelled to the top class. Working by his side is Marie Barbé. She brings a wealth of international experience with her, and previously worked with Patrick Léon for a number of years.
The grapes from the various plots are vinified separately. Depending on the young wines’ characteristics, they are assembled into either Grand Vin or Premier Vin, and aged in barriques for different lengths of time. The Grand Vin is the classic, characterised by its imposing structure, complexity and long storage potential. The Premier Vin appeals thanks to its pronounced fruitiness and its lighter tannin and body structure.
Son Mayol’s logo depicts the head of an Angus cow. It all started with cattle farming. The production of the very highest quality meat, based on ecological considerations, is still an active part of Son Mayol’s business. Upon entering the bodega, every visitor is eyed up by the animals in minute detail. The cattle are not fussy eaters either, and here and there manage to feast themselves upon the sweet grapes. Another ‘important’ role at Son Mayol is fulfilled by four-legged friends. They appear on the bottles’ labels as upholders of the bottling process: The dogs Cher, Leda and Luna were responsible for the 2014 vintage. How refreshingly delightful for a bodega that will soon count among the Spanish icons.
The backbone of Bordeaux
The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the Bordeaux its backbone, yielding deep violet wines with powerful tannins and endless ripening potential. It is the top dog in Médoc, and is placed in all five premier crus of Bordelais. When young, it often appears strict and unapproachable, but with advancing years, its tannins round off. It is wonderfully velvety, and yet always maintains its freshness. Typical flavours include cassis, graphite and cedar. Wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is found, Merlot is not far away. It complements the robust structure of Cabernet with softness, fruit and richness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-exported vine in the world. It delivers persuasive qualities in Italy as an ingredient of the Super Tuscan, or as the flagship variety from California. There, it is lovingly titled “Cab Sauv”. Meat fans should be aware that it fantastically accompanies a grilled entrecôte. The family tree of Cabernet Sauvignon is surprising: its parents are Cabernet Franc and the white Sauvignon blanc.
Merlot is the most charming member of the Bordeaux family. It shines with rich colour, fragrant fullness, velvety tannins and sweet, plummy fruit. It even makes itself easy for the vintner, as it matures without issue in cool years as well. This is in contrast to the stricter Cabernet Sauvignon, which it complements as a blending partner. Its good qualities have made the Merlot famous worldwide. At over 100,000 hectares, it is the most-planted grape in France. It also covers large areas in California, Italy, Australia and recently in Eastern Europe. The only catch is that pure Merlot varieties rarely turn out well. Its charm is often associated with a lack of substance. Only the best specimens improve with maturity. They then develop complex notes of leather and truffles. This succeeds in the top wines from the Bordeaux appellation of Pomerol and those from Ticino, among others.