Day 3 of the Menorcan Holiday and therefore, day 3 of my trip into Menorcan wines.
So I’ve broken the routine so far and have opted to go for a vineyard visit to Binifadet vineyards, 10 mins from our hotel. And shamelessly, I forgot to take my pain photo of the Bodega so have stolen the picture of the front from trip advisor.
It was a nice 45 minute tour of the vineyard and bodega. Starting looking at the different plots of land (called Tancas) where different grape varieties are grown in each one. Binifadet is the largest producer on the island of Menorca, accounting for over 50% of produced wines - but does not export. The grape varieties they grow include well known ones such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Garnatxa Blanc and Red, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia and Cabernet Sauvignon - and a few others. I was delighted to see a tanca dedicated to Gewürztraminer and although these vines are too young to be used presently, within 2/3 years they are hoping to produce a Gewürztraminer from their land. And also a sweet wine too. Binifadet is also the only producer on Menorca that produces sparkling white/rose and an orange wine!
Anyway, after an interesting tour, it was onto the tasting - accompanied with crackers and local cheese, we tasted 3 of their wines
The Tanca 14 Chardonnay - quite a top of the range for them. As per the Blanc, which I’ll come onto in a bit as I didn’t taste that until later, it was a surprise. It wasn’t immediately clear to me that it was a Chardonnay - mainly due to a savoury saline kick in the taste. The typical flavours of Chardonnay were there, but it almost resembled more of an assyrtiko or a Torrentes.
The second wine was their entry level red - light, fruity, not overly complex, not unlikeable, just a pleasant every day red.
For the 3rd we got a choice - my Father in law opted for the Tanca 13 Rose, which was instantly likeable. 100% merlot and also very refreshing with strawberry and cream tastes on top of the familiar saline notes.
My choice - I did my usual thing and went off-piste. I couldn’t say no to the Pieles Orange Wine. Matured for 12 months in clay amphora, it was very different but very interesting. I reckon this would divide an audience… to me, it was very citrus based with plenty of orange and tangerine and a fair amount of soft fruit - an experience. My Father-In-Law wasn’t sold and didn’t enjoy it. A bottle came home with me - much to my wife’s disdain!
The highlights - there’s a very nice terrace outside that seems kid friendly and does a wine matched menu. I hope to be back for this in the next couple of days!! The tasting was very insightful too and it was great to see how they are working hard to turn this destroyed industry on the Island around.
In the evening, we tried 2 further bottles:
Torrelbenc Rosado - served with a light salad. Very pleasant and enjoyable. Slight acidity matched against the flavours of strawberries and cranberries. My wife very much enjoyed this one with her Sardines. As a non-fish eater, I had a salad with local cheese and enjoyed it a lot as a matching.
We also opened the Binifadet entry level white - Binifadet Blanc. It’s also 100% Chardonnay and had much more typical Chardonnay flavours. I would suggest that it was unoaked. As with their entry level red, it is a pleasant everyday wine. Not special, not dreadful. Perfectly drinkable with a great story.
Tonight… we’re onto the fizz from Binifadet. Let’s see how that goes!