Love Island Wines - Half Dozen
'Love Island' may, or may not, be your first thought when it comes to Mallorca, but it is also the location of Bodegas Angel, home to the Susana Sempre wines, which is situated in Santa Maria del Cami, about 20 minutes north-east of Palma. It was founded in 2006 by Andres Gelabert, a local lad who spent his formative years in California where he caught the wine bug. When Andres returned home, he planted a mix of international and local grape varieties of which the red grape, Manto Negro, is the most important. His vineyards are planted on the local red clay soil ‘Call Vermell’, surrounded by the Sierra Norte mountains and cooled by northerly winds, which bring balance to the wines. The red is made from 55% Manto Negro, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot - a well-made, modern style of wine, easy to drink but with character. The white is 60% Prensal Blanc and 40% Chardonnay, the fruity freshness of the local Prensal working in harmony with the rounder Chardonnay to bring excellent balance.
Head east from Mallorca and you will bump into Sardinia, the second largest island in the Med. Here Abele Melis founded his estate in the commune of Terralba in the west of the island. They tend six vineyards, some 30 ha in total, which are situated close to the sea to benefit from the breeze. The sandy, clay soils favour the local varieties such as Vermentino for the whites and the wonderful Bovale Sardo red, which is ideal with pasta dishes, particularly if mushrooms are involved.
With the moderating influences of the maritime climate, low volumes and indigenous grapes, these islands' wines make for some delicious drinking whether on holiday or at home. They might even get onto a local television programme…