Vin Blanc Son Mayol
VdT Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Bodega Son Mayol, 2017
|Grape variety:||Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier|
|Origin:||Spain / Mallorca|
A floral, oriental bouquet reminiscent of the tales of a Thousand and One Nights: an enchanting scent of sweet orange blossoms, star jasmine, acacia and vanilla, accompanied by the fruity aromas of ripe peaches and Mirabelle plums; while white pepper and nutmeg toy with mint and verbena. On the palate its complexity continues, along with a juicy acidity and full structure, without appearing too strong. Fragrances of noble wood, fine flint stone and green tea give it an exciting bitter touch. The barrel has enhanced it with a soft flavour of almonds and biscuit and a hint of fresh mint resonates throughout the long finale.
|Origin:||Spain / Mallorca|
|Grape variety:||Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 10 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Grilled fish, Fresh water fish with cream sauce, Vitello tonnato, Vegetable cous-cous, Hot vegetable curries|
|Vinification:||fully destemmed, fermentation in wooden barrel, soft pressing|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection, in small boxes|
|Maturation:||in new barriques, in used barriques|
|Maturation duration:||8 months|
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.
Saved from extinction
It’s hard to believe that the Viognier nearly became extinct 50 years ago. Today, it grows worldwide on over 10,000 hectares. The variety was first mentioned in 1781, and probably originated in Condrieu, in the northern Rhône Valley. There, and in the 3.8-hectare mini-appellation of Château-Grillet, vintners kept it on the post when the rest of the world wanted to know nothing about it. Its inventory shrank to a meagre 14 hectares. This is because it provides only low yields, and for a while there were no good seedlings. In the 1980s, interest in Viognier reawakened. It actually shows a unique profile: deep golden with good body and aromas of apricot, lime blossom, citrus fruits, honey and hazelnut. It is popular in the Languedoc region, flows into the white Côtes du Rhône and also does very well in California. The best examples fit wonderfully with poultry in cream sauce, noble fish like turbot or – why not? – lobster.
The Sauvignon blanc can be recognized with your eyes closed. Its typical bouquet is marked by green notes: freshly cut grass, tomato bunches, gooseberry. Citrus fruits, cassis and flint join into the mix. In warmer latitudes it also shows exotic aromas, such as passion fruit. Its acidity is decidedly lively. In all likelihood, it comes from the Loire Valley, where it is vinified in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre in its purest form: varietally, and without timber. In the 18th century, it found its way to Bordeaux. Ambitious producers assemble it there with Sémillon into substantial whites, which are aged in oak barrels. The Sauvignon blanc has been a sensational success in the past 20 years in New Zealand. With its refreshing sweet-and-sour style, winemakers from down under have conquered the world. The rich Sauvignons from Styria and crisp examples of South Tyrol and Friuli are worth mentioning as well. It pairs with anything from the sea. Or do it like they do on the Loire, and enjoy it with goat cheese.