A driving force behind the recovery of quality wines in the Balearic Islands, the winery is located in the village of Felanitx, in southeast Mallorca. Wines are made at the ancient Son Bruguera “possesió” (the local word for farm) where winemaking facilities already existed in the 13th century. The farm was later converted into a dairy, but wine regained its place in 1994 thanks to the efforts of Miquel Ángel Cerdà and Pere Obrador. In the early days they were assisted by winemaker Francesc Grimalt who now runs his own, highly interesting project in the island (4 Kilos); currently Ánima Negra employs Xavier Ausàs, former winemaker at Vega Sicilia, as consultant.
The novelty when they launched their project was the work with indigenous grapes beyond Manto Negro, notably the light-coloured, light-bodied Callet and to a lesser extent Fogoneu. Ánima Negra’s subtle, evocative reds managed to capture the Mediterranean landscape in a glass but were far removed from the trend for deep-coloured, powerful fruit bombs that were so fashionable back then.
Today production totals around 250,000 bottles with grapes sourced from 70 Ha of vineyards, all of them their own. The current range includes the unusual white Quíbia (€13 in Spain, 35,000 bottles), a blend of white Premsal; the rosé-coloured Giró Ros and red Callet vinified as a blanc de noirs. The entry-level red ÀN/2 (€14 in Spain, 200,000 bottles) blends Callet (65%) with Manto Negro, Fogoneu and around 15% Syrah and provides a good introduction to the style of Balearic wines. The real star though is the single varietal Callet ÀN (€33, 15,000 bottles), made from old vines grown next to fruit trees; it is a must-try red and a perfect example of the changes that have occurred in the Spanish wine scene over the last two decades.
Son Negre is a rarity —a blend of Callet, Manto Negro and Fogoneu made only in the best vintages—labels are designed by the famous Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló. 85% of the wines are sold overseas. Winery tours must be arranged in advance.