Bodegas el Nidobelongs to theGil Family Estatesgroup (Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares). Founded in 2002,The Gil Family Estateshas formed a solid group that is currently composed of small wineries from various winemaking regions in Spain (Denominaciones de Origen). Because of this,Juan Gil Bodegas Familiaresoffers, with its commercial name, a wide portfolio of Spanish wines with different characteristics and backgrounds. All of the wineries involved have the common goal of producing high quality wines using native grape varieties, with unbeatable value for money.El Nidoreally brings alive this area of viticultural interest, having been conceived under the philosophy of empowering the identity of the terroir, as well as the personality and quality of native grape varieties.
The development of the new and powerful brand, Gil Family Estates, started with the construction of the new Juan Gil winery in Paraje de la Aragona, in Jumilla. At the same time, the El Nido project was launched to develop high quality, signature wines (‘vinos de autor’) in Jumilla. Over the years, it has been growing, and is now composed of a solid group of eight wineries from different D.O.s and the trading company Orowines. Because of this, Juan Gil Bodegas Familiares, has managed to unite a wide portfolio of Spanish wines with very different characteristics and origins under the same brand.
History of the winery
Bodegas El Nido was founded back in 2001 as a collaboration agreement between the Gil Family and Chris Ringland, one of Australia’s most renowned winemakers. The international figure of Chris Ringland brought prestige and glamour to the project, which was important especially when considering the international markets. In addition, in Australia he worked the harvest in March, due to Australia’s location in the southern hemisphere, which was fully compatible with his work in Jumilla. Most importantly, he also knew the variety Monastrellwell, since the variety has been growing in Barossa Valley for over 100 years.
From the beginning El Nido’s style was clear: using old low yield vines, some over 100 years old, to produce concentrated, full-bodied and very balanced wines, with lots of fruit, prepared with care and knowledge. These wines are very pleasant to drink and portray the characteristics of the area and terroir of origin.
The winery is situated in the Aragona Valley, about 10km north of the town of Jumilla, in an area known as the ‘término de arriba’, being the zone with the highest altitude within the municipality of the city.
The vineyards, located in the winery’s surroundings, are planted on soils mostly composed of limestone and a very stony surface. In the subsoil, about 30-40cm deep, is a coarse layer (medium consistency limestone) that covers the entire vineyard; it ranges between 15 and 30 cm thick with very sandy soil below it, where the roots extend. The altitude varies between 700 and 850 metres above sea level. These vineyards are planted in very small plots with a total of 32 hectares of the Monastrell variety, with some very old vines (almost centenarians), 12 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, and 1.8 acres of Syrah planted on hills facing north.
For Gil Family Estates, the Bodega El Nido represents new times, with new wines, and a mixture of old vines and new techniques.
Bodegas El Nido agrees with the belief that wine is made in the vineyard, and because the winery is situated next to the plots, it is able to monitor the progress of the grapes and ensure that they are in the best condition to obtain a great wine. The vines have a very low yield and production, resulting in very small and highly concentrated grapes. The harvest is carried out in small boxes, and a later selection of the best bunches and grapes is carried out at the doors of the winery.
However, at El Nido, they also understand the importance of using the latest technology in making wine, with strict controls on temperature, the use of stainless steel tanks and excellent hygienic conditions throughout the process to ensure the quality of their wines every year.
El Nido wines
The first vintage to be released by the winery was in 2002, with two different wines: El Nido and Clío. While Clío was Miguel Gil’s more eclectic vision using Monastrell grapes, Nido was the vision of winemaker Chris Ringland using Cabernet Sauvignon. Then in 2009, the first harvest of Corteo was produced, a red Syrah varietal wine. These are the three wines by Bodega El Nido:
Clío. This wine is a blend of 2 different grape varieties: mostly Monastrell (70%) combined with a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon (30%). This wine is aged for 24 months in new French and American oak barrels, and has the aroma of ripe fruit, blackberries and blueberries with notes of roasted coffee, cocoa and liquorice that give it finesse and elegance. Tasty and powerful, this wine has a great structure, with high concentrated tannin and a sweet aftertaste. Power, body and flavour combine on the palate, and keep increasing in the bottle.
Corteo. This wine is made 100% from Syrah grapes. The grapes for this wine come from a vineyard located 700 metres above sea level on a gently sloping hillside facing northwest, with a very low yield to obtain small bunches with high concentrated berries. The handpicked grapes are collected in small baskets and undergo a rigorous selection process. Corteo is then aged for 30 months in new French oak barrels. This wine has a dark intense purple colour with aromas of black and blue fruit, with notes of ripe plum. The wonderful taste includes smoky notes with highlighted rich and ripe flavours of blueberries, blackberries and other wild fruits, and its structure is silky smooth with good balance of acidity, highlighting a long and very persistent finish.
El Nido. This wine is a blend of 2 different grape varieties: mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) combined with a hint of Monastrell (30%). This wine is aged in new French and American oak barrels for 24 months and offers aromas of blueberries, cassis, smoke and chocolate, roasted coffee and spices with mineral hints. Powerful in the mouth, it presents a variety of flavours that give enormous complexity, the mature and strong presence of fruit, with an impressive structure and an astonishing ease and sweetness of palate with a never-ending finish.