Cati Ribot in the cellar

Ve D'Avoir - Unique Mallorcan wines from Cati Ribot

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Mallorca, Majorca... However you spell it, the wines from this Balearic Island have started to attract attention outside of Spain, most recently from low-intervention producers like Eloi Cedo (of Chato Paquita fame), Can Majoral, 4 Kilos, and not-so-newcomer, Cati Ribot. Cati's wines are relatively new to the US market, but her family has been growing grapes for several generations in Mallorca, and making wine since the 1990s, when her father began to focus on producing wine. The early wines of her family were made from grapes like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay, modeled after popular international wines, and made with extraction and new oak, among other widely preached and taught techniques. Cati developed an interest in local Mallorcan (Mallorquin) grapes during the years she spent traveling to Barcelona regularly and working in the lively, burgeoning Catalan natural wine scene. After gradually taking the reigns at her family winery, she began to convert all the farming to organic, and dedicated many years to researching and reviving local grapes that tell a story of the unique Mediterranean island and its indigenous varieties.

Cati's personality is warm and studious, above all else, truly appreciative. It's clear that to her she is living a dream, which combines a deep and academic respect for her home with the joy and reward of sharing her artisinal wines with a genuinely curious and fascinated (albeit small) audience. We've tasted her wines over the last few years and have always been impressed with the elegant rusticity and vibrance of the reds, and the layered texture and complexity of the whites. This particular offer doesn't showcase her entire lineup (which includes some sparkling wines and a red and white called "Son Llebre," which are blends that are meant to be her "entry-level" wines). That said, these are perhaps the three most memorable wines we have had from her project, which represent a fascinating look at the local grapes of Mallorca, made with a delicate and low-intervention approach (in fact even with no SO2 added) that lets the varieties truly do the talking.

-Eben Lillie

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For those curious to read more, we include below a section from the comprehensive bio of Cati Ribot from the Jose Pastor Selections website, written by our former colleague Ben Fletcher:

"Cati Ribot is a 3rd generation winegrower making natural wines under the name Ve d'Avior (“from the past” in Mallorquin) in the town of Santa Margalida, in the northeast of Mallorca. Her family’s background was in the farming of table grapes, almonds, and olives, but in the 1990s her father Jaume planted international varieties (Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon) with the goal of making wine. In 2004, Jaume built a sizeable bodega next to the vines, and Cati started working with her father in the vines and in the cellar. In the beginning, this was a solidly conventional affair, making the full-bodied red wines that Spain and Mallorca were known for at the time.

Cati and her father Jaume...began to delve into the past of Mallorquin viticulture, planting old varieties in collaboration with the island’s governing bodies in 2006. They were one of two producers to start planting new vines of ancient varieties like Escursac, the local Malvasía de Banyalbufar, Girò Ros and Prensal Blanc (and other, even lesser-known varieties like Callet Negrella and Vinater that remain unrecognized by the D.O. authorities in Mallorca). Gradually, some of these varieties that had been excluded from ‘modern’ or commercial winemaking in Mallorca were accepted by the governing organizations and included on the official register of Spanish grape varieties. Perhaps more importantly, Cati found that she enjoyed the wines that these varieties produced far more than the wines made from international varieties in Mallorca, and that they were suited to a different sort of winemaking. Harvests grew earlier and macerations got shorter as Cati explored the potential of grapes more suited to the Mallorquin soils, her own tastes, and especially the Mallorquin climate. Owing to Mallorca’s long, hot, and sunny summers, the indigenous varieties tend to be late-ripening, drought resistant, and large-berried. These characteristics prevent them from becoming over-ripe and protect them during dry periods.

The most important of these varieties to Cati’s story is the red grape Escursac. Large-berried and late-ripening, it tends towards the production of wines with moderate alcohol, delicate red fruit, and soft tannins. To our knowledge, Cati makes the only bottled varietal wines in the world from the grape, from 1.2 hectares of vines that she and her father planted in front of the winery in 2006. Her passion for Escursac led to the planting of another 5 adjacent hectares in 2020."

Feel free to check out the entire article/biography on the JPS website!

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Cati Ribot / Ve D'Avior 2022 Mallorca Malvasia

This was a revelation and one of the sleeper hit white wines of the last few months. Made in extremely small quantities, from the local Malvasía de Banyalbufar grape, it's a must for any fan of interesting and layered white wines. //  From importer: "After a harvest by hand, the grapes spend a short time on the skins, pressed pneumatically and fermented in stainless steel with temperature control. After fermentation the wine is racked where rests in tank for a further 6 months before being bottled without any added sulfur (at any moment in the process), stabilization or filtration." //  A bit less floral than many other renditions (or mutations) of the Malvasia grape, either due to the skin contact subduing some of the aromatics, or perhaps due to the profile of this local Malvasia, it still offers soft and subtle fresh herbs on the palate and medium-weight, balanced by fresh acidity (Malvasia is known for low PH generally) and a modest 10.5% alc. 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Cati Ribot / Ve D'Avior 2022 Mallorca Cambuix 1 Liter

'Cambuix' translates roughly to "bad hair day" in Mallorquin, and has a serendipitous history. In 2020, one of Cati's vineyards was hit with a sudden and unexpected hail storm, leaving a trail of battered vines and chaos in the vineyard, reminiscent of a bad hair day. As soon as the storm passed, Cati and several friends rushed out to salvage whatever grapes they could, and made a wine from all the grapes they collected. The result was a bright and energetic field blend of Escursac, Callet, Callet Negrella, Esperó de Gall, Gorgollassa and Mantonegro, destemmed and pressed directly and fermented in stainless steel before aging in steel tank and neutral barrels. Obviously unintentional in 2020, Cati liked the wine so much that she replicated the approach in 2022! What could fool you as another light and translucent natural wine will also teach you a lot about the flavors and energy of Mallorca's local grapes. Serve with a light chill and make sure to share some! (It's a liter bottle so that shouldn't be TOO hard).

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Cati Ribot / Ve D'Avior 2022 Mallorca Escursac

Cati and her father first planted 1.2 hectares (3 acres) of Escursac in 2006, after becoming interested in reviving this local variety that was nearly extinct. Since then, she has expanded the surface with some young vines, and is most likely the only winemaker in Mallorca producing a mono-varietal expression from the rare grape. This is 100% Escursac grown on iron-rich clay and limestone soils, with whole bunches being pressed and fermented in amphora and stainless steel tanks. The flavors remind me of so many different grapes (Cabernet Franc, Freisa, Ruche, Mourvedre, Sumoll, or Bobal for example), and of no wine I've ever had before! It's only 11%, but there is a deep black fruit profile and lovely, very fine rusticity that fades and gives way to a mineral finish. A tasty medium bodied red for the obscure grape aficionado!  -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur