4 Monos (4 Monkeys) is a group of four friends that fell in love with the Gredos mountains. Husband and wife Javier García and Laura Robles work as winemakers, while David Velasco looks after the numbers and Cadalso de los Vidrios-born David Moreno lends his family’s vineyards. Javier García happens to be the brother of Fernando García, winemaker at Marañones and co-owner of Comando G. He is also technical director at Jiménez-Landi, a Garnacha producer in the westernmost area of Gredos, and consultant at Viña Somoza in Valdeorras.
They grow seven hectares, five of which are their own. Vines are located in the village of Cadalso de los Vidrios except for a plot in San Martín de Valdeiglesias which is destined to their single-vineyard red La Danza del Viento Molino Quemado. They also monitor five additional hectares tended by local winegrowers in Cenicientos, a village nearby. All of their vines are grown on granitic soils. They advocate for whole-bunch fermentation, minimal extraction and the use of big barrels and foudres to avoid oak flavours. As a result, their Garnachas are fresh and particularly juicy.
Production was tiny since their first 2010 vintage, but in 2016 they have reshaped the business to reach 35,000 bottles favouring a Burgundian approach. The current entry-level 4 Monos (around €15 on its last 2015 vintage, 7,000 bottles) will be replaced by the regional red 4 Monos GR10. Retailing at around €9-10, it is named after one of the most spectacular walking trails in the Iberian Peninsula –the GR 10, connecting Lisbon with Valencia, which crosses through a couple of their vineyards. The brand 4 Monos is now reserved for their village wines with retail prices between €16 and €20. The first 2016 vintage wines come from Cenicientos (around 5,000 bottles) and Cadalso de los Vidrios (slightly over 1,500 bottles) while a third Garnacha from San Martín de Valdeiglesias is on the pipeline.
The expressive, single-vineyard La Danza del Viento Garnacha wines (both around €28, under 1,000 bottles) remain unchanged. Molino Quemado is sourced from a vineyard in San Martín de Valdeiglesias, whereas La Isilla comes from a higher altitude plot in Cadalso de los Vidrios. Despite its tiny production, their white 4 Monos Albillo Real (around €17 in Spain) is worth looking for; and the red Car (€19), named after Carignan, a rarity in the area and showing more rusticity than Garnacha, with the picture of a car on the label. All of the 4 Monos wines are part of the Vinos de Madrid appellation.