Vinos de Madrid must be a Grenache lover’s dream. The Spanish wine region that makes this warm climate variety in a finessed, Burgundy style. That’s the promise. The first wines I tried a few years ago left me disappointed, though – they were less extracted than the usual Spanish Garnacha, but they were too funky and rustic. After skipping a few vintages I felt the need for a re-visit, but when tasted the El Hombre Bala 2016, I had the impression that nothing has changed.
Pale and cloudy. Overwhelming animalistic notes on the nose, plus iodine, blood – the common smell of low SO2 red wines. Rather distracting than inviting, and it does not improve much after a day of aeration. Light extraction, it’s Pinot-like, smooth on attack, but a bit harsh and hot on the finish, with coarse tannins. There is an unusual vibrancy in this and I like the unforced character, it could be a captivating wine. But I think it went too far in trying to be natural, lost varietal character and clarity on the way.