Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Macia Batle Blanc de Blancs 2009

World of Wines, £15

We had only known each other a few short hours but I was beginning to think Marjorie might be The One. She didn't say much, but then she didn't cost much either, and many would consider both of these attractive qualities.

I may have woken that morning in another woman's bed but by mid-afternoon Marjorie and I had already drunk ourselves silly in Camden, eaten salt beef in Stockwell, seen away a bottle of good-ish Marcillac and attempted to buy a house next to a nightclub. The initial outlay was diminutive, but keeping her in the manner to which she was rapidly becoming accustomed was clearly going to put a dent in the wallet.

All this fun had put me in an adventurous mood and so, mid-way through the first Snakebite of the day, I left her in the capable hands of my Northern Irish friend to embark on a speculative mission to the nearby Wines of the World.

A sparse and indistinct selection yielded a single diamond amongst the rough- Macia Batle's 2009 Blanc de Blancs. Comically overpriced at £15 (around 6 euro in Mallorca if I recall), but nevertheless an essential purchase.

Along with Jose L Ferrer, Macia Batle is one of the giants of Binissalem D.O. Although the winery in its present state has only existed since 1996, it has rapidly made a name for wines at all price points, and is leading the way amongst the larger producers on the island for Moll-dominated whites. I remember being slightly disappointed by the '07 Crianza last summer, but buoyed by the benign influence of my decollated friend I was confident the Blanc de Blancs would justify the vineyard’s reputation.

This proved sadly misplaced. The wine itself is lean and green, with raspy acidity and little sugar despite only getting to 12.5% alcohol. Flowers on the nose are overwhelmed by oak, which comes through on both the nose and palate and makes the Chardonnay all the more apparent. An interesting wine, not bad, but certainly unbalanced.

No grape in the world wouldn't ripen in Mallorca's reliably hot, dry summers. But after the feast of San Bernado on August 20th things start getting a little more unpredictable; torrential wind and apocalyptic rain is not unknown in the first few weeks of September. The harvest is a crapshoot.

The Binissalem Regulatory Council rates the 2009 vintage as 'Excellent', but I reckon something spooked Macia Batle into picking a little early... This Blanc de Blanc seems a tad under-ripe, and has a slight bitter finish. They've lumped on the oak to try to disguise this, but it ruins the aromatics of the Moll, leaving an astringent Chardonnay.

The wine stands as metaphor for our whirlwind romance. Zippy, unhinged, bittersweet and expensive, but ultimately lacking depth.

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