Wednesday, May 22, 2024

El Nido "Clio" Jumilla for birthday celebration lunch at Meson Sabika Naperville

El Nido "Clio" Jumilla for birthday celebration lunch at Meson Sabika Naperville

For my birthday, Linda and the kids took me to Meson Sabika restaurant in Naperville for a celebration lunch. Mesón Sabika opened in 1990 in the 1847 mansion that sites on a four-acre estate near downtown Naperville.

The historic mansion has several elegant dining rooms inside and a large patio for alfresco dining. They also have a tented dining room and a large tented pavilion that is used extensively for weddings and special events. 

The kids love the immensely popular Mesón Sabika with its Spanish cuisine that they serve tapas style, a wide variety of small plates from meats to seafood and several dishes of Paella, the iconic dish of Valencia and Spain. 

According to tradition in Valencia, paella is cooked by men over an open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with pine cones. This produces an aromatic smoke which infuses the paella. 

With our dinner we ordered from the wine list a big hearty red wine in the style we enjoy, especially with hearty foods. The fairly extensive Spanish centric list offers a couple Rose’s, a dozen whites and three dozen reds, as well as a half dozen ultra-premium ‘Rare and Old Vintage’ selections of classic Spanish top growths -  Prada Enea Gran Reserva, an older vintage of this Clio, several vintages of Muga "Selección Especial”, and a Clos Erasmus. 

Bodegas El Nido "Clio" Jumilla, Spain Red Wine 2021 

Bodegas El Nido is one of Gil Family Estates, owners of eight wineries spread throughout seven D.O.'s in Spain, based in Jumilla with winemaking roots going back over a century, known for bold flavor wines with lavish texture and alluring spice. It is a joint venture of the Gil Family and notable winemaker Chris Ringland from Australia, one of the best Australian enologists and author of Clio and El Nido and others,  known for producing big bold Shiraz and GSM -  Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre wines. 

The winery and vineyards of Bodegas El Nido are located in the Valle de La Aragona, inside the Murcia district of Jumilla wine region and surrounding area. Their vineyards include thirty acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 79 acres of very old the Monastrell grape varietal, also known as Mourvèdre in the French Rhône River Valley. 

Monastrell is a red wine grape that goes by the name Mourvedre in France and in Australia. Historically from the Rhône Valley it is commonly used as a blending grape to add body, tannin, and color. In Spain it is produced as the core of blends that are complex and powerful as this grape variety can be.

They produce a portfolio of three big red wines including their flagship ultra-premium Ed Nido, and this popular Clio label which has been consistently rated 91-97 points for the past 13 consecutive years by acclaimed wine critics.

Famous for the robust and earthy, black-fruit dominated, Monastrell, Jumilla is an arid and hot region in southeastern Spain. Its vine yields tend to be torturously low but this can create wines of exceptional intensity and flavor. Quality combined with accessible price points give the region great recognition on international markets far and wide. 

Coming from the warm climate of southeastern Spain, the grapes get the chance to fully ripen and produce hyper-concentrated dark fruit. The reds from Jumilla are heady and spicy, packed with fruit and show aromas of dried licorice and herbs. 

Monastrell vines are planted in a foot deep layer of chalky stones over substrat a of sandy soil. Cabernet vines are planted in vineyards with chalky, stony soil over a layer of sandy soil with clay. The vines are trained and groomed to produce very low yields and the grapes are harvested in small baskets to prevent bruising, with only the best bunches selected. 

This 2021 release is 70% Monastrell (Mourvedre) and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak for 24 months. It is a monster with a heady 16% alcohol. 50,000 bottles were produced. 

This vintage release was rated 93 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. 

Winemaker's notes: This wine exhibits a glass-coating opaque purple color. It has an expressive nose of pain grille, brier, minerality and blueberry and blackberry overtones. This plush, opulent wine has great density, savory flavors and a very lengthy finish that gets better with age. 

Winemaker Notes - “Deep ruby with a garnet rim. Aromas of succulent black fruit from fresh to preserved and suggestions of caramel and toffee, with hints of toast, cocoa, distinctive tobacco, and coffee. In the background, some earthy and mineral nuances. Fruit and freshness define the palate, complemented with exotic touches of spices, violets, some vegetal nuances, some toasted notes, and deep mineral undertones. Huge, powerful and savory, yet it shows a distinctive elegance. A linear, steely acidity, some ripe tannins and very long finish.”

Dark garnet deep opaque purple color, full bodied, dense, concentrated, vibrant and opulent yet nicely balanced briery blueberry and blackberry fruits with savory baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, anise, cigar box and oak with full firm refined tannins on a tongue puckering lengthy finish. 

RM 93 points.