Sweet aromas of black fruits with hints of vanilla and chocolate, which appear after the oak ageing. The palate is sweet with structured, persistent tannins and a long finish. El...
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Sweet aromas of black fruits with hints of vanilla and chocolate, which appear after the oak ageing. The palate is sweet with structured, persistent tannins and a long finish.

El Enemigo is a romantic winery at heart. The concept was born September 2009 as Alejandro Vigil and Adrianna Catena walked back from the Argentine Embassy in London, where Nicolas Catena had just received the Decanter Man of the Year Award. Adrianna, a historian, and Alejandro, a soils engineer, spoke of their shared love of philosophy, wine and history – so they decided to create wines together in reflection of this. Not that their respect for tradition means they stick within its limits, following the status quo has never been El Enemigo's bag.

The fruit of their labour is quite brilliant. Alejandro holds the highest rating ever given to a pure Cabernet Franc wine by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, awarded to El Gran Enemigo Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary, Mendoza. The 100 year old Alsatian foudres (barrels) they use originally came from Italy, but were then re-toasted and reassembled in Mendoza. The gentleness of this wood brings out the true character of cool climate Cabernet Franc; elegant and age-worthy.

This Bordeaux blend red is undeniably one of the finest Argentine reds currently on the market. The grapes come from the Gualtallary plot, in the Uco Valley, and only the best succeed in forming part of Gran Enemigo's production. After de-stalking, they ferment and mature for 18 months in oak casks of different sizes.

If you're lucky enough to get hold of a bottle of Gran Enemigo, you'll immediately understand why Alejandro Vigil's wines are revolutionising the wine scene in Argentina and making an impression on a good number of international wine critics. His creations look for maximum expression of the terroir, allowing the grape to be the real protagonist; therefore when you drink his wines, you drink the product of a vintage, the magic of a little corner of Argentina.

Within that great density, attractively rimmed with a ruby hue, there lies a wine heavyweight. On swirling the glass, the crystal becomes tinted with plentiful tears which cling resolutely. The nose is so rounded that it seems difficult to examine in minute detail, but notes of cocoa, orange peel and red fruit emerge. Menthol notes, spices such as cloves and a refined herbaceous hint of scrub are there too. On the palate it's fresh and captivating, with an extremely distinctive touch and a harmony very infrequently found; an abundance of elements in perfect tune. It takes its leave discreetly, it would seem, yet its aromas persistent long in the memory. Only 4,000 bottles available.

A great wine to drink now with hearty red meat dishes or to add to the cellar for another decade or so.

97 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Key Facts

Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot/Malbec

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