While most of the wines from the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera; located off the east coast of Spain) are nothing to actively seek out, the distinctive, full-bodied manto nero grape variety is an exception to this rule and worth trying. We would recommend wines from the Mallorca’s Binissalem DO, specifically. If you are looking for a white, try the local prensal blanc grape which yields light, herbal white wines.
About the Balearic’s Binissalem DO
- Vineyards. Vineyards sit on a flat plateau at elevations of 250-300 meters.
- Soils. A rich topsoil of sandy alluvium covers a limestone and clay base; the limestone is critical as it absorbs much-needed moisture for the vines during the island’s dry summer months.
- Climate. The climate is mild and Mediterranean, with relative stability in intra-day temperatures.
Binissalem is oriented toward red wines, which account for 60-70% of total production.
- The best reds are based on the indigenous manto negro, which accounts for nearly 40% of total vineyard planted area; all of the denomination’s red wines must include at least 30% of this variety. They are well-suited for extended aging in oak barrels; there is a wide selection of wines at crianza, reserva and even gran reserva designations. They are bold wines with smooth tannins.
- The denomination also grows cabernet sauvignon, callet, tempranillo, monastrell, syrah and merlot. They are typically blended in varying degrees into manto negro-based wines to add tannins, body and aromatic complexity.
Despite its red focus, Binissalem delivers some quality whites wines.
- The best are based on the indigenous prensal blanc (aka moll), which represents approximately 60% of total white production. Generally simple wines made for immediate consumption, they nevertheless reveal pleasant white fruit aromas and subtle flavors of green apple, ginger, honey, almond and herbs.
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