And the winner is...
El Nido 2008, Bodegas El Nido, DO Jumilla
El Nido was founded in 2002 as a joint venture with the extended Gil Family, who are prominent in Jumilla (Finca Luzón, Juan Gil) and Jorge Ordóñez, of Málaga fame (see below).
The name of the bodega and the wine means ‘the nest’, and its sister wine is called Clio, which is the name of a bird. The bodega is a member of the Orowines Group, which operates seven wineries in different DOs around the country, with the avowed intent of encouraging the use of mainly local varieties.
El Nido has 32 ha of 65-year-old Monastrell, and 12 ha of 33-year-old Cabernet-Sauvignon. At harvest time the pickers go through the vineyards several times, picking only the ripest bunches on each pass, and the grapes are then hand-selected a second time on the sorting table.
The wine is a Cabernet/Monastrell mix with two years in new French oak, and although it tips the hydrometer at 15.5% abv, maintains a wonderful balance, fruit and fresh acidity, thereby giving the lie to those who say you can’t make a wine with any subtlety over 14% abv. The winery is ultramodern, with fermentation in open wooden vats, and malolactic in new barrels.
The winemakers are Bartolomé Abellán and Chris Ringland, who is Australian, and elsewhere in the Orowines group they make a 100% Monastrell wine called Wrongo Dongo, which seems to have a New World ‘stamp’ to it.
Written by John Radford