When the embat blows – as the Mallorcans call the thermal wind that passes over the land from the sea as a fresh breeze during the day – wine grower José Antonio is pleased, as it cools the grapes in his vineyard and ensures they don’t ripen too early. His Ca’n Xanet bodega is like a treasure chest of wine – packed with wonderful details and surprises.
The small vineyard, which was only established ten years ago, lies in the north of the island between Pollensa and Alcúdia, close to the sea and the Tramuntana mountains. The moment you step into his vineyard, it’s evident that José Antonio places great importance on Mallorcan grape varieties – most of the area is dedicated to the Mallorcan Gorgollasa and Manto Negro grapes. José Antonio was even, in fact, the first to make a wine solely out of the Gorgollasa. To support him in this endeavour he called upon the help of none other than Raúl Perez, who renowned wine critic Robert Parker describes as Spain’s most important oenologist. It was his idea to make a lighter, more elegant wine out of the Mallorcan grapes – not an easy undertaking as the grapes require a great deal of care and also produce less than the usual grape varieties such as Merlot and Syrah. All the more laudable, therefore, that people like José Antonio and other vineyards on Mallorca are rediscovering the indigenous grape varieties. Who can, after all, claim to have sampled a wine made solely out of Gorgollasa?
Wine and the Med go together like bees and honey. Find out all you need to know for enjoying the nectar of the Gods on Mallorca here. […] Wine Mallorca
It was out of a love of wine that this Mallorcan took this project upon himself which, as he says, was “much more complicated than anyone would have imagined.” The journey from the grape to the finished bottle is full of challenges for which José Antonio has exactly the right expertise in the manufacturing process. “As the grapes grow at the foot of the Tramuntana, and therefore get a lot of moisture, the vine has to be well looked after to ensure than no fungus grows on it.” The wines of Ca’n Xanet also lead the way when it comes to the subject of sulphite – so little is added that levels are achieved similar to those found in biodynamic cultivation. Good news then that José Antonio is no longer at Iberostar and can instead dedicate more time to his vineyard.
The two hectares produce four reds, a rosé and a white wine, totalling about 12,000 bottles. The best of the Gorgollasa grapes makes the ‘Sibila’ and, from the Manto Negro, the ‘Cumas’. Their bouquet is diverse, fruity, surprising yet light; the perfect accompaniment for a summer lunch in your favourite restaurant or a garden party.
The outstanding quality of the wines of Ca’n Xanet has also been confirmed by Robert Parker and the Guía Peñín (who both awarded ‘Cumas’ a maximum score of 93). To sample these wines, you can either order a bottle in José Antonio’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Argos, in Port de Pollensa or find a stockist on the Ca’n Xanet website. On hot summer days, when the heat becomes almost unbearable, it is best to take a bottle of your favourite summer red and escape to the coast and the sea – a refuge where the constant gentle breeze of the embat promises to cool off both you, and the grapes.
Photos by Estefanía Durán & Sara Savage
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