12 Volts from Mallorca
Meaning ‘black’ in the Mallorcan dialect, Callet is a native grape that with the indigenous Fogoneau comprises a field blend that totals 50% of the 12 Volts 2012 blend. Recently rescued, in large part at the hands of Francesc Grimalt of 4Kilos Wines, Callet yields light, rustic red wines and thrives in Call Vermell soil, which is rich with reddish clay loam and dotted with stones. As a parent varietal of Callet, Fogoneau shares similarities with Gamay Noir, and sees limited plantings on the island of Mallorca. Luckily for us, 4Kilos, along with Ànima Negra, which Grimalt also co-founded, are two of the top producers of Callet blends in Mallorca, yielding a style of wine that we love.
A blend of 50% Callet-Fogoneau, 30% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, 12 Volts 2012 is farmed “beyond organic” by Grimalt and Sergio Caballero (Grimalt’s co-founder of 4Kilos), who practice biodynamic farming while Grimalt holds true that an atheist cannot really farm biodynamically.
From vines that average 20-years in age, the fruit is manually selected, and then macerated and fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel vats. Aged for 12 months, with 40% in foudre, 30% in 2-year-old French oak and 30% in 1-year-old French oak barrels, 12 Volts is neither filtered nor fined, and this year, 4Kilos produced only 3,500 cases.
The unusual and delightful label, which captures the accessible yet unique character of the wine, is designed by Gary Baseman, who lives in L.A. and is represented by Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC. Brought onboard by Sergio, who is a working musician and founding partner of the Sonar festival of advanced music, Baseman offers a video glimpse of his work in progress here.
A bright and spicy wine with aromas of fresh red cherries and plums, purple flowers, and granite, 12 Volts 2012 offers light and earthy tannins that uphold the wine’s persistent acidity and spice, which hints at cinnamon and anise. After some time in the glass, the oak comes whispering through with super slight aromas of toasted caramel; and the spice kicks through to the end. Chill it. It’s fall divine.
For more from 4Kilos, drink Gallinas y Focas.