El Enemigo is a cult Argentinian winery. It’s a partnership between soil expert Alejandro Vigil (Director of Winemaking at the iconic Bodega Catena Zapata) and Adrianna Catena (sister of the Managing Director and fourth-generation vintner at Bodega Catena Zapata, Dr Laura Catena). The idea was formed in 2009, while the two strolled back along the River Thames after a party at the Embassy of Argentina in London where Nicolás Catena Zapata – Adrianna’s father and the man who put Argentinian wine on the world map – had just been awarded Decanter Man of the Year. They decided to create a winery that respected traditions but rejected the status quo, for example employing 100-year-old Alsatian oak foudres imported directly from Italy, but also the more fashionable concrete eggs. Inspired by a mutual love of old-school Pomerol and Château Cheval Blanc, the focus was to be cool-climate, high-altitude Cabernet Franc – at this point it’s worth noting that some of their vineyards are nearly 1.5km above sea level. This was a pretty rebellious and radical concept, because all anybody wanted to talk about at the time was Malbec from Argentina. We love this kind of renegade thinking, especially when the wines taste this good.
El Enemigo Chardonnay 2019
9 in stock
El Enemigo Chardonnay 2019 is Toasty, spicy and salty, as well as briney and refreshing with some honeyed notes.
96 points, “Always great quality for the price.” – James Suckling
93+ points, “The textbook 2019 Chardonnay is elegant and subtle, seamless and integrated, with moderate alcohol and great freshness, finishing dry and very tasty.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
They say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” El Enemigo, meaning ‘the enemy’, is a winery you’re going to want to keep very close and share with only the closest of friends.
With its links to Bodega Catena Zapata, we should be surprised that El Enemigo’s Chardonnay punches well above its price tag. But we were dumbfounded by the value it offers. Hailing from Gualtallary in Tupungato, this is one of Argentina’s hidden gems. It was matured in large oak barrels for nine months with the addition of a little flor (the yeast growth that gives Fino and Manzanilla Sherry its distinct flavour). This secret ingredient imparts an extra special complexity and flavour. Expect a velvety textured Chardonnay with lots of vibrancy and lively freshness. Apple pie, lemon curd, apricot, white peach, dried flowers, vanilla cream, hazelnut, sea salt and a whiff of that Sherry-like yeastiness. Stock up before the world realises how exquisite this is and the price rockets.