12Volts from 4Kilos Wines
Francesc Grimalt of 4Kilos Wines with Jorge Perez
The most recent project from 4Kilos Wines in Mallorca, 12Volts began in 2007 and was released at the beginning of 2009 after twelve months in the barrel. Founded in 2006 by winemaker Francesc Grimalt and Sergio Caballero, a musician and founding partner/co-director of the Sonar festival of advanced music, 4Kilos Wines comes on the heels of Grimalt’s work at Anima Negra Cellar in Mallorca. “As one of the founding partners of Anima Negra, he wanted to stay true to his philosophy of making wines,” said Jorge Perez, our Iberian Portfolio Director. “His philosophy is simple, supporting the constant interchange of microorganisms with the plants, which allows for a healthier farm.”
Practicing beyond organic since 2011, Grimalt– who believes that an atheist cannot really farm biodynamically– engages a majority of biodynamic practices. Employing no herbicides or pesticides, Grimalt makes his own compost and feeds his grape skins and stems back into the soil. As a true minimalist, he doesn’t irrigate and he doesn’t plow because it allows for more worms to exist in the subsoil; and he leaves the vineyards’ cut grass on the surface so that it can protect the soil from the heat. “He works consciously to leave nothing behind,” said Jorge, “to give back, to nourish the earth that provides for his vines.” When one compares any one of his 15 plots to those of his neighbors, whose vines are often overripe and artificially lush like the body of a gym rat on steroids, one can see that Grimalt is making the best use of his Call Vermell soil, the most desirable soil on the island.
A reddish soil of clay loam that’s abundant with ferric oxide and dotted with stones, Call Vermell does not retain water well, which allows for better fruit concentration. With 40ha of 15 single vineyards, Grimalt goblet trains all of his vines, which enables better air flow while lowering the yields. “Vines are like people,” said Grimalt, “they need to be understood individually to apply the right growing technique.” On average, 4Kilos harvests four tons per hectare.
Planted to Callet, French Fogoneau, Manto Negro, Cabernet, Merlot, Monastrell and Syrah, Grimalt’s vineyards are located not in any one particular D.O., but on the north and south parts of the island. “More and more, he’s dedicating himself to native varietals, and as a local from the island, he really understands the soils and the varietals, the terroir,” said Jorge.
Described by Grimalt as very oxidative and difficult to farm, Manto Negro is similar to Garnacha but more playful with fewer tannins. It’s the dominant masculine grape to Callet, which is more feminine, and closer to Pinot Noir in style, while Fogoneau is also very delicate and Gamay-like. “Small percentages of this goes into the blends,” said Jorge.
And while 12Volts is not our first wine from 4Kilos– that honor goes to Gallinas Y Focas a collaborative project – we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Grimalt’s most recent project, which should be in house by next week.