La Isilla, Vinos de Madrid, 2016

  4 Monos Viticultores

A high altitude plot in Cadalso with a higher proportion of fine white sand and quartz over white granite from an average of 95 year old vines. Pale and ethereal but with more structure. The fine and mineral soils here produce ultra-fine tannins with sweet red fruit, a touch of herb and spice, pink pepper and grapefruit. Complex, succulent and finessed, all the elements are in place.

Contains Sulphites.

About 4 Monos Viticultores

We are delighted to be the newly appointed UK agents for the brilliant 4 Monos estate. 4 Monos, meaning “4 Monkeys”, is the brainchild of four friends who met whilst hiking in the Gredos mountains. Husband and wife Javier Garcia and Laura Robles take care of all the viticulture and winemaking from a total of 10 hectares of vineyards (five of which they own), supplemented by a further 5 hectares of prime vineyards that they source fruit from. 2016 saw the project expand and total production rise to 35k bottles, necessitating the move from a rented garage to an operational winery (that is still tiny!) in the village of Cadalso de los Vidrios. Winemaking is hands-off and traditional, favouring whole bunch fermentation and long, gentle macerations. Aging is carried out in neutral oak casks for 12-18 months before bottling. The resulting wines are bright, jewel-like and crystalline. Tension and precision reign supreme and each wine has its own unique personality within a framework of succulent fruit, bristling acidities and gorgeous perfumes. 4 Monos are for now an under-the-radar estate, and completely new to the UK. If you are yet to discover the magic of Gredos these wines offer terroir-transparency, complexity and delicacy, at extremely reasonable prices.

Appellation: Sierra de Gredos

The Sierra de Gredos is the mountain range that lies ninety minutes west of Madrid and widely regarded as one of Spain’s most exciting wine regions, albeit one that is still relatively undiscovered. Old bush vine Garnacha is the name of the game here and vineyard altitude ranges from about 500m of elevation, climbing as high as 1200m, ensuring huge day-night temperature swings – perfect for the later ripening Garnacha grape. The wild, untrammelled nature of the mountain range and remote pockets of vines means that it is common to find around 5-10% of other local varieties naturally co-planted in the vineyard, adding extra complexity and freshness. The soils are primarily granite based. White wines, although a significant minority, are based on a local variety called Albillo Real. It is an early-ripening richly textured variety that takes well to barrel ageing thanks to the stony, mineral character that comes in part from elevation and poor soils. Administratively the Sierra de Gredos sits on the border between three separate zones: Madrid, Castilla y Leon and Castilla La Mancha. Most wine is therefore designated Vinos de Madrid or the (unofficial) Garnacha de Gredos.

The upshot of all this is that there is a small cohort of dynamic producers turning out jewel-like Garnacha that has a unique, almost tremoring, ethereal character. When successful they are wines of presence and rocky structures with a bright, crystalline feel. If the Garnacha of Priorat is deep, rich and slatey and Chateauneuf-du-Pape spicy, savoury and glossy, then Gredos Garnacha is something completely different.