Sierra de Gredos has slowly changed from a region known for bulk wine to one that is central to Spain’s reputation for exciting, high-quality wines. Located a short drive west of Madrid, it is being transformed by a handful of innovative, upstart producers who have been lured to the region by the abundance of old Grenache vineyards, sitting high in the mountains. It is located within the larger Vinos de Madrid appellation, which encompasses a broad area within three provinces surrounding the city of Madrid. The climate is continental with a bit more rainfall than the rest of central Spain, and the most prized area for serious winegrowing is San Martín de Valdeiglesias. The elevation is quite high, starting at 650 meters, and going up to well over a thousand meters.
4 Monos (4 Monkeys) was started in 2010 by four wine-savvy friends—Javier García, Laura Robles, David Velasco, and David Moreno. They work five hectares of their own and five hectares with other growers, all located in and around the villages of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Cadalso de los Vidrios, and Cenicientos. Their mission is to capture the purity of the local old-vine Albillo and Garnacha grapes and the granitic soils of the area by using organic viticulture and natural winemaking methods, such as wild yeasts and whole-grape clusters for fermentation, foot-trodding the grapes for minimal extraction, little sulfur, and neutral oak treatment.
Dominated by Grenache, with small amounts of Cariñena and Syrah, “GR-10” is named after one of the Iberian Peninsula’s well-known walking trails. The vines range in age from 15 to 100 years. About 50% of the grapes are vinified as whole bunches and the other half are destemmed, and the wine is aged in neutral barrels of various sizes for nine months before release. “GR-10” is an easy-drinking wine, but not without texture and weight, making it a good choice for sipping alongside a charcuterie board.
4 Monos Viticultores
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