Wine fairs abound from spring to fall in Mallorca, and Raïm Fest in Deià was spectacular. So spectacular, in fact, that the public officials of Deià swore never to have such an event again. The small, cliffside town overflowed with wine drinkers, music, and too much traffic for the narrow village to handle.
Up a steep hill in Deià is a chapel square perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. There, wineries of Mallorca set out their bottles under quaint stalls where wines could be tasted for two euros a pour.
One such pour was Mortitx Blanc. And maybe it was the unseasonable heat of that April day, but this wine widened the eyes of all who imbibed. With perfectly clean coolness, it rolled its crisp, fruity flavors across our tongues and left us nodding in agreement to the productive and pragmatic taste of Mortitx’s Blanc. That day, so many found the Blanc so refreshing that all bottles had been purchased from the Mortitx stand well before the sun had set on the festival.
Leaving me wanting more, I recently purchased a reasonably priced bottle from the Bip supermarket and now offer this review.
|Just a Sip|
|Blend||Malvasia, Muscat, Chardonnay, Giró Ros|
|Designation||Vi de la Terra de Mallorca|
|Alcohol Content||12.5 percent|
|Cellar Time||2 years|
|Food Pairing||Gambas Mallorquinas|
Maybe the luckiest vines of the island grow at Mortitx. From where they sit – below 1,300-foot mountains and just a mile from the sea – they seem to capture the essence of the world’s growing captivation with Mallorca. The scenery itself is worth a visit. But the presence of passionate winemakers utilizing this scenery to nurture their vines is blissful. In fact, owing to Mortitx’s location, the winery even provides opportunities for hiking amongst its lush microclimate.
The winery is relatively young – beginning in 2001 – and relatively small. It sits on 19 hectares of land and produces around 100,000 bottles of wine a year. (Compare this to the island’s behemoth, Macià Batle, which sits on 150 hectares and makes over 1 million bottles.) Mortitx provides fine reds, whites, and rosés. The winery also produces a highly praised sweet wine made by freezing grapes at their optimal ripeness, creating a must high in sugar.
Malvasia, Muscat, Chardonnay, and Giró Ros
The Malvasia is a proud Mediterranean grape. The history of the Malvasia is such that – besides the grape – towns, taverns, and even any wine imitating or indicating Malvasia’s sweet flavor had to carry the name “Malvasia.”
The name itself comes from the Greek port town that renamed itself Malvasia in the 14th century due to exporting so much of it. Malvasia is a favorite of Mortitx Winery for its ability to thrive through the cold winters and blustery sea winds that visit their uniquely positioned wine valley. The Malvasia provides aromatic intensity but smooth tastes.
Muscat – the other major player in the blend – adds tropical sweetness to the wine and ensures that the supplementary Chardonnay adds body but no dryness.
On the Nose
From first sniff, the Mortitx Blanc does not disappoint. The Muscat enlivens the senses with lime and exotic passion fruit, while the mountainous Malvasia increases and deepens the aromatic bouquet with green apple, ripe pear, vanilla, and succulent honey.
After the intensity and excitement of the nose, the taste comes as a surprise. Expecting quite the acidic and flavorful punch, the Blanc, instead, rolls right over the tongue like a wave of refreshing minerals, carrying sweet honeydew and the slight acidity of lime.
You think it will bite, especially in the back of the throat, but it leaves off gently with soft pear and a hint of honey remaining on the tongue.
Texture and Balance
This wine goes down like a fresh bottle of mineral water. You can feel the minerals pushing the flavored liquid through the mouth with a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. Once it’s on your tongue, there are no surprises. It’s clean and balanced from beginning to end.
While the tongue soaks up the sweet tree fruits and light honey flavor, I did get a peppery aftertaste in the back of the throat that I credit to the saline and other mineral characteristics of the mountainous grapes.
Mortitx Blanc is a wine that pleases anywhere, anytime. But why not treat yourself to other island delicacies while taking it in? Sóller (another mountainous and coastal location in Mallorca) is known for its late winter gambas (shrimp) catch. Due to the gamba’s small size, one could eat a plate full in one sitting, and their soft texture and light, sweet taste pair perfectly with Mortitx’s aromatic yet smooth Blanc.
I give Mortitx Blanc a 4.4 out of five. The combination of mountain and sea, cloud and sunshine are tasted in the Mortitx Blanc. Its full aromatic bouquet speaks of summer, while its bold, crisp minerality tastes of mountain streams. The combination is as stunning as the island and winery that produces it.