Three varietal wines of Majorca

majorquin varietals

When staying in Palma de Mallorca last year, we visited José L Ferrer in Binnisalem where we picked up three varietal wines, each of a different variety grown only on the island. As varieties, they are not (with one exception) particularly rare, but you do not usually find them sold as single-variety wines. Unlike other wines from Ferrer’s cellar, they were fermented in 500 li oak barrels. The labels carry a drawing of a Ferreret, a toad native to Majorca – by analogy to the grape varieties presumably, and with a name that is not to be confused with that of the producer.

Last weekend, I tasted these wines, and then drank them with food. Below, are description of the varieties according to Wine Grapes, followed by my tasting notes.

Ferreret, Mantonegro, Jose L Ferrer, 2014, 13.5% – €18
Also spelled as two words: Manto Negro. 320 ha of vineyards, and often found in Majorquin blends. Wines are generally soft, light coloured and high in alcohol. Younger vines tend to produce red fruit flavours, while older vines with low yields give more concentrated black fruit. Its tendency to oxidise means the wines do not age well.

Pale garnet. Some oak. Fresh red fruit – raspberry and cherry. Sweet and spirity. Medium high acid. Intense aromas. Low but detectable tannin. Perfumed and fragrant. Sweet ripe fruit. Excellent length. Drink now ****

With food, this was the most enjoyable of the three ****

Ferreret, Gorgollassa, Jose L Ferrer, 2014, 13.0% – €18
Only 4 ha of vineyards, but the area is increasing. Produces wines that are dry and elegant, but with a tendency to oxidation. Typically gives wines with strawberry and violet flavours, fairly low acidity, moderate alcohol and soft tannins.

Medium pale garnet. Intense. Lightly aromatic oak – rather pleasant. Red fruit. Medium high acid. Intense aromas. Sweet red fruit. Medium low tannin. Nice structure. Excellent length. Refreshing finish. Drink now. Better than the Mantonegro ****

With food, this was one of the less enjoyable of the three, the pleasant oakiness failing to come through ***

Ferreret, Callet, Jose L Ferrer, 2014, 14.0% – €18
143 ha of vineyards. Traditionally rather rustic, light red or rosé, and low in alcohol. Increasing trend towards higher quality, finer tannins and moderate alcohol. Usually moderate acidity, but enough to give balance and freshness. Minerally, food friendly, typically red fruit aromas and sometimes violet scented.

Medium pale ruby garnet. Medium intense fruit. Raspberry maybe, but moving towards the black fruit end of the spectrum. Blueberry I think. More muted, and possibly more serious. Impressive legs. Medium high acid. Medium low tannin. Aromas as nose, but actually not very interesting. Excellent length. Disappointing on finish. Drink now ***

With food, this was one of the less enjoyable of the three ***

In summary, all three wines were good, lightly structured quaffing wines, rather than wines to sip quietly over the course of an evening: nothing wrong with that if you are in the mood for a good quaff, as I was.

Author: Steve Slatcher

Wine enthusiast

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