4kilos - 4kilos tinto 2021

We are drinking the 2021 vintage of the single-varietal Callet from the 4kilos winery in Mallorca that bears the same name.

Actually, this weekend after Pentecost has always been reserved for Mythos Mosel in recent years. Unfortunately, this year it didn’t fit in time-wise and organizationally, so there will be no report, and I myself will have to wait for the first impressions of the fresh vintage as well. To avoid wallowing too much in nostalgia, we are not drinking Riesling today. As a contrasting program and distraction, we have red wine from Mallorca. The last bottle of Callet from Mesquida Mora was already over a year ago. So it’s high time to let this indigenous Balearic grape variety back into the glass. Francesc Grimalt has played a significant role in putting Callet on the radar. Before founding 4kilos with Sergio Caballero in 2006, he made wine for Anima Negra. They moved into a former sheep barn, which they purchased for four million pesetas. Hence the name, 4kilos. Pesetas was the currency in Spain before the Euro, the older readers will remember, and that translates to about 24,000 euros. Quite a bargain for starting a winery. I wonder if there is perhaps the equivalent of the “One euro, that’s 2 Deutsche Mark” converters in Mallorca? Probably so. But the calculation is more complicated, and the numbers are larger, as it’s easier to double than to multiply by 166 in your head. That might also be off-putting. Never mind. The vines’ roots grow in calcareous clay soils on the Mediterranean island in organically farmed vineyards. The grapes for this wine come from two plots. They are partially fermented in wood and partially in stainless steel, then aged in 600-liter wooden barrels for a year. Whether new or used barrels, the descriptions from merchants aren’t very consistent, and it likely varies from vintage to vintage.

For such a red wine, 2021 was practically yesterday, and you can smell that. Or rather not, because at first, it doesn’t really want to come out of the glass. Swirling is the order of the day. Or waiting. What starts as slightly earthy wood becomes fruitier with air. There are dark berries and a few plums, more purple than blue. But there’s also freshness in the wine, something etheric, and a hint of balsamic vinegar. It tastes like it smells, more of a slow starter than a sprinter. Initially very quiet, very gentle, then with each sip and more air, more tannins and structure build up on the tongue. And just like on the nose, there’s freshness and a great acidity. It’s fascinating to observe how air makes the wine simultaneously rougher and more elegant. That the wine needs air and time is not unexpected, so only a tasting sip was planned initially, allowing it a night to develop. We go out to eat, and the wine goes into the fridge.

On the second evening, there’s significantly more cherry in the wine. The balsamic vinegar has completely disappeared from the aroma. So actually the opposite of what you would expect. It smells younger now, with rosehip, spices, and etheric wound ointment. The freshness is impressive, the tannin brushes the tongue with fine grains, although brushing isn’t quite right. It’s more of a caress than a brush. The cherry on the nose also lands in the mouth when drinking. The plums are still there. Since we rarely drink Callet, this is only the second bottle after all, I check what I wrote about the last wine. It was kind of the other way around back then. The balsamic vinegar appeared overnight rather than disappeared. But that wine had a few more years on it than this one. Still, reading the old notes, many of the same words come to mind again. The type of tannin, the freshness, the structure, and the spiciness are all there now as well. And the idea that this fits well on an island, where it’s warm, but with the sea around, with wind and salty air. The 4kilos is certainly the cooler, more elegant, and more complex wine. Somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m just scratching the surface. I want to buy another bottle to see how it develops. And yet, it’s complete and exactly fitting as it is right now. An impressive wine.

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