96 Points - [Refers to 2008 vintage] - "The 2008 El Nido is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell also aged for 24 months in new French and American oak. It gives up a bit more aromatic complexity with ramped up concentration and volume. In the glass, notes of blueberry, blackberry, exotic spices, and pepper lead to a plush, silky, 60-second finish. Give this behemoth 6-8 years to become civilized and drink the Clio cuvee while you are waiting." -The Wine Advocate
COMPOSITION: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell
[Refers to 2007 vintage] - 95 Points - "Glass-staining ruby. High-pitched, complex aromas of raspberry, blackberry, minerals, smoked meat and spices, plus a hint of gingerbread. Rich, round and very sweet; packed with black and blue fruit preserve, Asian spice, candied violet and mineral flavors. Velvety tannins add support to the expansive, palate-saturating fruit flavors. The floral and spice notes come on strong on the finish, which is strikingly fresh and very long. Offers a great combination of depth and vivacity." -Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, September/October 2009.
[Refers to 2006 vintage] - 97 Points - "Aromas of wild blueberry and black currant are room-filling. Dense, layered, and totally hedonistic, it has serous depth and concentration, impeccable balance, and a 60-second finish. A bit more structured than Clio, it will have a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2026." -Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate.
The grapes for this wine come from 12 hectares (29.65 acres) of 29 year old Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, yielding an average of 2,400k/ha (2,136 lbs./acre), and 32 hectares (79 acres) of 64 year old Monastrell vineyards yielding an average of 1,600k/ha (1,425 lbs./acre).
The vines are subjected to several passes during harvest. With each passing the workers choose only the most mature bunches leaving the others to develop further.
The grapes are harvested into small baskets to prevent bruising. Monastrell grapes were harvested the last 2 weeks in September and the Cabernet grapes were harvested the first 2 weeks in October. The famous Australian winemaker, Chris Ringland, oversees the winemaking process.
The bunches are brought to triage tables for selection of only the healthiest, ripest grapes; followed by fermentation in open small vats that hold only 3 or 4 tons per batch for 7 days. The grapes are basket pressed and fermentation is finished in oak barrels. New French and American oak barrels are used for malolactic fermentation. The wines are aged for 26 months in new barrels.