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Wine Fairs 2023

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Sa Cabana Giro Ros vines (their Facebook pic).jpg
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Wine Fairs 2023

As the wine fair season in Mallorca has now drawn to a close, we reflect on our experience and make a selection of the best wines we discovered. This year, we attended six wine fairs in Mallorca and a few more in mainland Spain. In this article we focus on three of the most festive ones - the Pollença wine fair, Nit del Vi in Palma, and Poc a Poc. These fairs are open to anyone who wants to enjoy a taste of Mallorcan or natural wines.

The Pollença wine fair and Nit del Vi both take place on the patios of old religious buildings, while the Poc a Poc is held in an industrial state on the edge of Palma. The warehouse normally used for selling art is taken over by winemakers who use barrels as tables to introduce their wines.

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The Pollença Wine Fair 2023

The 20th edition of The Pollença Wine Fair invited 40 wineries this year. One wine we particularly enjoyed was Can Vidalet's 38 Arrobas, a unique wine with pure aromas and originality. It's no wonder that Can Vidalet is quickly becoming one of the most talked about wineries in the north of the island – this experimental wine is one of their many successes. The winemaker, hailing from the Jerez region in southern Spain, used the Mallorcan grape Premsal and aged it in a 100-year-old Manzanilla Barrel. The wine developed a mild and subtle velo flor, similar to sherry. We found it quite nutty and mineral, yet retaining the meaty flavour that characterizes the Premsal grape. This wine is a rarity, with a limited number of bottles being released into the market.

It's easy to lose track of a winery that has been producing wines for as long as one can remember. We tend to overlook the classics and opt for the latest releases instead. However, when we stumbled upon Miquel Oliver Son Caló Rosat it was a delightful surprise – an inexpensive, understated rosé that exceeded all expectations. Made with local Callet and Fogoneu grapes, this wine was fermented in stainless steel before bottling. This year, the winery has perfected its formula, refining the colour and striking a balance with its aromas and flavours.

The Nit del Vi Event

The Nit del Vi wine event in Palma featured 37 wineries, including Ribas, the oldest winery in Mallorca. All wineries present are members of the Petit Celler Association, which promotes smaller wineries in the area. The event had a luxurious atmosphere, with visitors dressed up for the occasion and snacks served in the patio's centre to enhance the experience.

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Sa Cabana Giro Ros vines (their Facebook pic).jpg

During the event, we tasted Sebastià Pastor's Encobeït, which is made from 100% Mantonegro grapes from the oldest vines at the Santa Maria winery. It had a spicy, fruity, intense, mineral, and complex flavour. This wine is produced in small batches and comes at an affordable price, like all the other wines offered by Sebastià Pastor.

 

With the growing popularity of Sa Cabana wines on restaurant menus, we were eager to try them out. While the reds were too young to sample properly, the whites were impressive, with the Sa Cabana Giró Ros standing out as particularly excellent. This Mallorcan wine has a fresh yet robust body that can be enjoyed with or without food. Giró Ros is slowly becoming a staple in the Mallorcan wine repertoire, highlighting the importance of ageing, whether in a barrel or Sur Lies.

The Poc a Poc Wine Fair

The Poc a Poc Wine Fair is an alternative, lively event that embraces the natural wine movement. This year it showcased a significant collection of Mallorcan wine, as well as wines from Austria, Greece, and France. Local chefs and guests from other regions also offered mouth-watering food. The Mallorca Nouveau Project, a range of wines created exclusively for the Ca Na Toneta Team, is a personal favourite. However, it is a shame that this collection is only available at their restaurant in Caimari.
 

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We also have a soft spot for the Soca-Rel range of wines. Escursac is a rare Mallorcan grape that has been recently authorized to produce wine. Despite being on the brink of extinction, this grape has made a remarkable comeback and has become a trend in the wine industry. Interestingly, every Escursac wine we have tried so far has its own distinct flavour profile, but the best one yet is by Pep Rodriguez. Soca-Rel Escursac is juicy; bursting with fruit flavours and has a hint of bitterness that leaves you wanting more. The wine's fluidity is its defining characteristic.

Clan del Vino, a small winemaking project from mainland Segovia, exceeded all expectations with a unique and fantastic range of natural wines. Their wines were flawless in technique and flavour, including a young vine Verdejo, a 100-year-old Verdejo, a Bobal, and a delightful Pirulés. La Reina del Mambo Pirulés stood out as the wine of the day, with its aromatic, citric, structured, and silky flavour profile.

Selecting wines for our collection is a challenging task that involves attending wine fairs from February to June and sampling an extensive range of wines. Our personal criteria are guided by what the French call a "Coup de Coeur" – a fleeting moment that indicates a wine is truly exceptional. However, these moments are becoming increasingly scarce.

We hope this selection will inspire you to try some new wines and support the amazing small wineries that create them.

Article written by Lara Corfield & Ivan Gonzalez, The Wine Industry Mallorca

Other articles by Iván & Lara:

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