Producer Navid McIlhargey and Wines of El Nido
Wines of the Night

2013 Juan Gil ($14)

If you don’t like high alcohol wines, this may not be for you because one's first impression is of the burn. At 15% alcohol, it’s understandable (most wines are between 12% – 14%), But if you have patience and the alcohol doesn’t bug you, the payoff for this wine is scrumptious! It really did taste like a rich chocolate dessert with black raspberry, chocolate, and mocha flavors. What made the wine interesting — there were leather (like chewing on a belt) notes and a flavor of sweet chewing tobacco too (not that I’ve had it…). The wine is super full in your mouth and it sticks around for ages. This would not be classified as a shrinking violet.

Wine Scores

Ben     80       

Scott   81       

Tom    83       

Navid  84

2013 Clio ($39)

Clio is a coupage of Monastrell (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) grown on estates that are planted in the vicinity of the winery. The Monastrell variety is grown in a 32 hectare vineyard on old vines, a very low yield, but the grapes are of an excellent quality. The soil is mostly limestone with a lot of surface stones. Underneath is a layer of sand where the roots can search for nutrients. The harvest is done by hand and the grapes are transported to the winery in small crates that prevent the grapes from breaking. Once at the winery, the grapes are put in order on a sorting table. Clio undergoes a maceration and afterwards a fermentation in small stainless steel deposits and barrels. There is a malolactic fermentation and then an aging process, which lasts for 24 months, and takes place in new French and American oak barrels. Clio is a great wine, very expressive from D.O. Jumilla. A wine that thrills thanks to its strength and complexity.

Wine Scores

Ben     88       

Scott   89       

Tom    88       

Navid  89

2013 El Nido ($144)

The top of the range 2013 El Nido boasts a whopping 16% alcohol with lowish acidity. The blend is reversed from its sibling Clio, in this case mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with some 30% Monastrell, and similarly finishes its fermentation in barrique where it undergoes malolactic and 23 months aging. The nose is dominated by ripe black fruit and plenty of spices and smoky notes from the oak, but does not show any herbal aromas so often found in Cabernet. The creamy oak seems to be more present with time in the glass, and I think it is still very young. The Cabernet can ripen nicely in Jumilla, in fact you have to be careful not to go over the limit. The palate is full-bodied, with dense sweet fruit and plenty of dusty tannins, with nice balance in an XL way. It has a lot of everything and it should develop nicely in bottle. This is a particular style, for the fans of soft, ripe and generously-oaked reds, very good in its style. Better to leave it in bottle for a while and enjoy with powerful food. 6,000 bottles produced and bottled in September 2015.

Wine Scores

Ben      90       

Scott    91       

Tom     91       

Navid   92