Wine Club – June 2023
This bright and brambly Callet from Mallorca is the handiwork of our friend Ibon Apezteguia. After just a few years of winemaking, he’s proven that a minimalist ethos can make for maximalist wines. Quartó is light on its feet, but a bit spicy too. It’s deliciously drinkable but it also has a little kick. In reality, Ibon’s winemaking endeavour is of two minds and two regions. Longtime TNWC members will remember a Monastrell from Panduro, from Murcia, in the southeast corner of the Spanish peninsula, from almost two years ago. (Side note: that makes us feel old.) There, the climate is harsh and desertic. This wine is borne of the sunny, gentle weather of the island of Mallorca, making it a slightly more ethereal bottling. A delicate wine for day drinking. A wave of nostalgia for wild summers of eating wild berries by the sea
Ve d’Avior, 2022
Mallorcan powerhouse Cati Ribot comes from one of the island’s most representative winemaking families – Bodega Galmés i Ribot – and thus is somewhat of a natural ringleader for many aspiring winemakers on the island. She has the infrastructure nearby, after all. Still, her turn towards a more natural style of winemaking sets her apart from the family legacy. The vibrancy she is able to squeeze out of her wines, consistently, is impressive. The Son Llebre Blanc is a saline island white (and Mallorcan whites are rare!), with plenty of rich aromatics. This means, at its core, it’s a fresh, direct, wine perfect for pairing with any and all fresh seafood. But, on top of that backbone, there’s a ton of character, in the form of floral and fruit overtones, which makes the whole thing much less austere and much more rapturous
Cati Ribot & Eloi Cedo, 2020
Patatilla is a collaboration between the godparents of Mallorcan natural wine. On one hand, Cati Ribot, whose Son Llebre Blanc is also in this month’s box. On the other, we introduce you to Eloi Cedó, a mythical winemaker whose career began at 4 Kilos, the most well-known of well-known Mallorcan wineries. From two superstars comes this humble, thoroughly enjoyable wine. It’s a carbonic maceration made of Tempranillo, meaning a fruit bomb (think raspberries and cherries) with just a hint of that tempranillo grip and woodiness. In total, a medium-bodied with enough natural freshness to make it glou-glou anyway. This wine was made once in very low quantities, so as with many great collabs, there’s also an exclusivity factor. Still, as its name reminds us, no need to go too fancy: savour it with a bag of potato chips, and enjoy!
Selva Vins, 2021
Carlos from Selva Vins is a T.N.W.C. mainstay, and we couldn’t send out a Mallorca box without returning to the fold of his fascinating, wild, herbaceous wines. This one is, at first sight, a simple rosé, right on time for summer drinking. While you could choose to use this bottle that way, it’s worthy of more. Yes, it’s paler in colour than other natural rosés, meaning it’s palatable for even your grandmother who only drinks Côtes de Provence. But it’s also wild and herbaceous, due to the fascinating Gorgollassa variety that was rescued from near extinction not too long ago. It has a hint – just a hint – of residual sugar, making it slightly juicier than some of the rest of his wines. All in all, a pool-side or beach-towel wine, perfect for chugging to warm up as soon as you get out of the crisp early-summer water.
Ca Na Toneta, 2021
Ca Na Toneta is technically a restaurant. We say technically, because while you can (and absolutely should) go eat there, it functionally serves as a sort of meeting ground for the island’s natural winemakers, having helped build the community up for years now. Maria and Teresa Soldevilla are the hosts behind the experience, and Evelyn de las Alas serves as the steward for this special wine bottled under the restaurant’s name. Vi Da Ne Ta is a blend of five different red indigenous grape varieties, sourced from the higher elevations around Mallorca’s north shore. The result is a fresh elixir: not too concentrated, crunchy, but still round. A wine that is absolutely ready to drink now, but can last another couple summers if you’re interested to see how an understated complexity now, will only reveal itself further and further.
Jugo Vins, 2022
The name says it all. Jugosa is juicy a.f.; a blend of mostly peppery Syrah in its freshest, lightest form, with a generous splash of tropical white grape Moscatel to keep it fun and funky. Together, they form a fruit cocktail in the form of a bottle of wine. It’s a party banger. It’s a morning wine for summer vacation, or a sunset wine for an after-work rooftop hang. A first bottle or a last bottle – it’s truly that versatile. Charlie Prymaka, the winemaker, puts it this way: it’s a wine for whenever. His journey to winemaking took him from wine bars in NYC and London through to working harvest on three continents. In a way, he is a bit of a people’s winemaker, in that he delivers on what we all want to drink – and is, perhaps, who we all want to be? (International winemaker on a gorgeous Mediterranean island… why not?)