In August of 2006, Francesc Grimalt and Sergio Caballero set up 4Kilos Wines in Mallorca, a winery dedicated to producing wines that reflect the strength of the grape and its nuances but with a different approach and different presentation. Their concept is not only that of variety but of the importance of the combination of strain-soil-climate-growth.
Francesc Grimalt, winemaker and former partner and technician of the Anima Negra Cellar in Mallorca, is known mainly for rescuing the variety of the native grape Callet on the Balearic wine scene. Sergio Caballero is also musician and founding partner and co-director of the Sonar festival of advanced music and multi media arts, and who is responsible for 4Kilos' unique image.
In 2007 alongside Apolonia Viticultors—Balearic Agrarian society—they converted a former sheep farm into a small winery. They were able to produce the crop for 4Kilos 2007 and their new project 12Volts 2007 that after twelve months in the barrel was launched onto the market at the beginning of 2009.
The vineyards are located in different parts of the north and south of Mallorca, the reason for which being that they do not belong to any particular D.O. The strains are planted mostly in soils Cal Vermell a popular name to describe the Franco clay soil. The varieties that are grown are Callet, Cabernet Sauvignon, French Fogoneu, Merlot, Monastrell and Syrah.
White grapes are used in two famous types of Spanish wine, Sherry and Cava, but we will limit this discussion to still whites. Let’s begin with perhaps the best known and most highly regarded internationally, Albariño . Produced in the region of Rías Baixas, just above Portugal in northwestern Spain, Albariño typically sees no or little oak and is medium to medium-plus in body. Aroma and flavor notes often include citrus and peach, often with subtle floral notes and a suggestion of sea spray, giving the wine a zesty feel. Often bottled as a single varietal, Albariño is sometimes blended with other indigenous grapes like Loureira and Treixadura. Try one of these Spanish whites from Forjas del Salnes.
Let’s look at a few other Spanish white wines. Godello also hails from northwestern Spain and presents a profile of grapefruit, minerality and a slight smoky quality. Enjoy a bottle from Bodegas Avancia. The region of Rueda, northwest of Madrid, is home to Verdejo , which makes refreshing, un-oaked white wines whose herbal vibrancy recalls Sauvignon Blanc . Protos makes a tasty version. Up north in the Basque region, we find the wine called Txakoli (sometimes called Txakolina). Pronounced “sha-ko-LEE,” it’s made from a local grape called Hondurrabi Zuri and is light, fresh, citrusy, dry … and with razor sharp acidity that makes it a fantastic partner with local seafood and tapas. Ameztoi Gertariako is a good Spanish white wine producer to check out.
The Penedѐs region, best known for the oceans of delicious Cava it sends to the world, also produces still Spanish whites, sometimes from international varieties like Chardonnay , and often from the same grapes used for Cava. These include Parellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo. Avaline produces a fine example of Penedes white. Finally, we visit the Rioja region. While it is historically and internationally famous for its reds, Rioja also produces fine Spanish white wines. These are usually based on Viura (the local name for Macabeo) and make good everyday sippers, although some aged versions can be stunningly complex. A good place to start is the white Rioja from Bodegas Muga.
As you can see, Spanish white wines offer a vast opportunity for exploration!