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Monday 29 August 2011

Randemar Negre Collita 2010, Binissalem Mallorca Denominacio d'Origen‏

I always make a point of trying whatever is local - or, to put it another way, buying wine as close as possible to where it's made.

So, on a family holiday to Mallorca, upon seeing this bottle of local wine from Celler Tianna Negre at the local supermarket, even though there were less expensive wines whose names I recognised, I decided to try it.

I have had Mallorquín wines before - we came to the island about four years ago, before I started my blog, and had some good-to-quite-impressive wines in a very pleasant restaurant on the edge of a small walled city near Alcudia whose name now escapes me.

Made from two indigenous varieties - Callet and Manto Negro - blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, this local wine is probably not going to show too much in the way of varietal expression.

On the nose, there is some red fruit, cherries and a touch of earthiness and woody mushrooms, with some hints of liquorice; on the palate, it is low in tannin but has pleasant cherry acidity with just a touch of vegetal sourness.

It goes well with a tapas-style plate of salami and freshly-baked baton, with olives and cornichons on the balcony of our apartment overlooking the Med towards Ibiza. The back label suggests serving it slightly chilled at 14C and given the heat (mid-30s centigrade) we put the left-overs in the fridge so it does not go off.

A day or so later, it actually works rather well chilled down to about 6C - 8C, and feels somewhat like a rose with good acidity and focus, a pleasant finish and some length but nothing too much.

We go out for a stroll to the promontory to watch the bats at dusk with the children and on returning, the wine has warmed back up to somewhere just above the suggested 14C and now shows more black cherry and dark berry fruit, a touch of mid-palate sweetness, some gentle tannins and a slightly longer, but no more complex, finish.

At €8, it feels a little expensive given that it is quite a straightforward, if quite pleasant, wine.

Perhaps most interesting is the Old-World level of alcohol - just 12%; the vineyards must be rather cooler than the mid-30s heat we are enjoying and in the interests of research, I subsequently check out the winery's website and learn the following facts:

- Viticulture on Mallorca dates back to the VI Century, whilst between the XIV and XVIII Centuries Mallorquín wine flourished so much so that viticulture became the island´s principle economic activity

- In 1891 phylloxera hit Mallorca and during the XX Century Mallorquín wine was pushed aside first by the Civil War and then by the tourist boom; however, the 1990s finally saw a renewed interest in viticulture

- The most typically used indigenous red grape varieties are Manto Negro and Callet, usually accompanied by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah
- Mallorca´s viticultural regions are split into five different classifications: the D.O.s of "Binissalem" and "Pla i Llevant", plus "Vi de la Serra Tramuntana-Costa Nord", "Vi de Terra Mallorca" and "Vi de Illes Baleares".

- Binissalem wine is made from 50% autochthonous varieties (Manto Negro for the reds and Prensal Blanc for the whites).

- Celler Tianna Negre is located at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains on the north coast, influenced greatly by the higher altitudes and humidity creating freshness and acidity.

This last point in particular explains the relatively low alcohol and fresh feel of the wine which, also according to the website, is fermented in stainless steel with just a brief spell in oak.


Celler Tianna Negre - http://www.tiannanegre.com/

Further information on DO Binissalem - http://www.binissalemdo.com/?lang=en

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