It’s no secret to my friends and colleagues that I am partial to Spanish wines. Generally, I shop that aisle mainly for value; I find that, for my hard earned dollar, the wines from Spain have much more to offer than most other regions. Usually I spend about fifteen bucks on a solid bottle from Monsant, Campo de Borja, Rioja, or Ribera del Duero. These areas all put out mostly good wines for a reasonable price.
But this particular wine is not about value. It’s not about subtlety or terroir. This wine is about pure, unadulterated, hardcore gratification. It is extremely dramatic and even overstated. It’s like wearing a short skirt and sexy, smoky eyeshadow in a dark nightclub. It’s flashy and outwardly sensual, and isn’t shy about stating its purpose: “Take me home. Now.”
Clio is made by Bodegas El Nido in Jumilla (hoo-me-yah.) It’s a blend of mostly monastrell (mourvedre) with 30% cab to provide tannin and structure. It is a dark, almost inky, shade of blue-ish black. The nose is dominated by smokey black fruits, licorice and black pepper. On the palate, the wine coats the tongue with flavors of currant, black cherry, and velvety blueberry, with the peppery spice lifting it toward its long, almost sweet, luxurious finish.
This is the third vintage of Clio that I’ve encountered and I can easily say it’s well worth its $45 price tag. I absolutely love this wine. It is one of the best examples of this wonderful indigenous varietal on the market.
The verdict is still out on cellaring this amazing bottle and/or its big brother, El Nido. Some experts claim holding it for a decade will improve its balance and substance, and may be a better indication of its true purpose. Truth be told, I’m not interested in this wine’s integrity. I don’t care what it will look like in ten years, or even in the light of day. I don’t want to take it home to meet mom and dad; I don’t need it to make me breakfast. I just want to love it tonight.