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swirl and savor

The Over Achieving Bodegas El Nido Clio

Beth Ribblett

What do you get when you combine one of Australia's top winemakers, the leading Spanish wine importer and a family with a hundred years of winemaking experience behind them? Bodegas El Nido is the result of this passionate endeavor taken by Chris Ringland, Jorge Ordonez and the Gil Vera family (Bodegas Juan Gil) and their belief that the Jumilla region of Spain could produce world class wines. Featuring the Monastrell as their rock star varietal, the wines from this Bodegas El Nido are highly sought after and their fans anxiously await the arrival of the new vintages.

Somewhat controversial because of their nontraditional approach to Spanish wine, Bodegas El Nido is not about old world subtlety or finesse, but pure power and a hedonistic richness much more reminiscent of Napa or Australia. Adored by Robert Parker whose scores have never dipped below 93 points, they produce 2 wines the Clio ($45.99) and the El Nido ($100+).

So for those of you who are fans and some of you who might now be curious, call me to reserve your bottles of the Clio because there is very little to go around. Only 180 bottles make it to the state of Louisiana and believe me, it goes fast. And at it's modest price point it truly over delivers if you are looking for a wine with a big time "wow" factor!

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 94 points: The 2007 Clio is made up of 67% old vine Monastrell sourced from a vineyard planted in 1944 and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard planted in 1979. The alcoholic fermentation is in oak followed by ML in new barrels and aging for 26 months in new French and American oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it displays an in-your-face bouquet of wood smoke, underbrush, incense, blueberry, and black currant. Dense, chewy, packed and stacked, the fruit quality is superb, the balance impeccable, and the finish lasts for nearly a minute. It will be controversial with those who prefer low alcohol and finesse in their wines. Those who like unrestrained power and richness will adore it quite aside from the fact that it over-delivers for its relatively modest price. Drink it from 2011 to 2022.