4 Monos (4 Monkeys) is a team of four friends and lovers of wine native to this region. As is typical of The New Spain, this “gang of four” assembled in a less conventional manner: they met while hiking in the Gredos mountains, one of the most profound wine terroirs to emerge in recent years. Located 80km west of Madrid, the Sierra de Gredos is a mountain range that spreads over parts of three appellations – Méntrida, Vinos de Madrid, and Castilla y León – and sits between 600 and 1200 meters in elevation. Old bush vines planted on sand, granite, and schist intermingle with sweet-scented olive, evergreen, almond, and chestnut trees, scrub brush, chamomile, and wildflowers. This is a landscape that feels like a holy collision between the Mediterranean and the Alpine, and the region is often deemed magical for its beauty and immense diversity. It is this terroir that 4 Monos champions with organic farming, and articulates so beautifully with their utterly crystalline and transparent wines. 4 Monos is comprised of winemaker Javier Garcia (also the head winemaker at Méntrida icon Bodegas Jiménez-Landi), co-winemaker Laura Robles, wine-lover David Velasco, and vineyard holder David Moreno, and 2009 was their first vintage as a team. Over just a few years they have accumulated 4 hectares of vineyard land, acquired a small bodega with built-in concrete tanks in Cadalso de los Vidrios, and are also working 10 ha with other local growers who share their passion for organic farming practices. By putting a focus on the land and the variances in terroir from village to village, they have brought the potential of the Gredos terroir to the world’s attention and revived production from grapes such as Morenillo and Cariñena. Minimalism reigns supreme in their cellar. For the white wines 4 Monos harvests for acidity, barrel-ferments, and raises them in neutral French oak. They produce two whites - a regional blanco from old-vine Albillo with Viura and Moscatel, and a 95 year-old Albillo sourced from three vineyards in Cadalso de los Vidrios. For the reds, they pick Garnacha, Cariñena and Morenillo as soon as they achieve initial ripeness, and vinify using whole grape clusters, gentle extraction, and aging in neutral oak of varying sizes. A variety of reds are produced: a regional tinto from multiple villages in the Gredos that is affordable and highly representative of the Sierra de Gredos terroir; a lithe and complex wine from the high elevation village of Cenicientos; and two single vineyard wines that fall under the “La Danza del Viento” label – the structured and mineral-laden “Molino Quemado” from San Martín de Valdeiglesias and the perfumed and elegant “La Isilla” from Cadalso de los Vidrios. Additionally, 4 Monos is the only Gredos producer to put the Cariñena grape on center stage with a precise, elegant and delicious single vineyard wine simply called “Car.” Depending on the vintage, they may make some unsulfured cuvees for good measure. The results are astonishingly electric and like no other wines in the world.
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