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El Enemigo Bonarda 2011

Bonarda from Mendoza, Argentina
  • WS90
13.9% ABV
  • JS93
  • WS91
  • RP91
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Bonarda is a tribute to old Bonardas of the Eastern Mendoza, a wine made in a traditional Mendoza style.

This Bonarda shows a deep violet color with bluish reflections. The nose is intense and complex. Intense aromas of ripe black fruit, black berries, raspberries, black cherries, chocolate and liquor, with some spicy notes of fresh herbs provided by theCabernet Franc appear. The taste has a sweet impact with silky tannins and aromas of ripe black and red fruits with notes of licorice and vanilla. Its natural acidity is refreshing. By its concentration and complexity the finish is long and persistent.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Ripe, rich and intense, with impressive concentration to the raspberry, dark plum and kirsch flavors. Very svelte, delivering luscious licorice and spice notes, which linger on the finish with baker's chocolate details. Drink now through 2018.
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El Enemigo

El Enemigo

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El Enemigo, Mendoza, Argentina
Image of winery
London, September 18, 2009 - 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 among a group of dear friends from around the world. The Thames was covered in mist as Adrianna began to tell Alejandro about the Great Fire of 1666, stories from another September night in London. Adrianna is an historian who recently completed her Ph.D. in History at Oxford University. Alejandro, a soils engineer, has been chief winemaker at Catena Zapata since 2002. They share a mutual fascination with the writers Dostoyevsky and Cortázar, a passion for the Hellenic Philosophers (and heirloom tomatoes), a love of used books, live music, and long meals with old friends, and a deep, obsessive dedication to their young families – Adrianna's son Antonio and Alejandro's daughter Maria Giuliana Francesca are the same age. On that walk, Alejandro and Adrianna decided to make a wine together, a wine that would represent their deep respect for history and tradition, and their complete irreverence towards the status quo.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Bonarda is actually a name given to a handful of distinct grape varieties, mainly originating and growing in Italy, but also increasingly popular in Argentina.

As far as vineyard area in Argentina, Bonarda comes in second to Malbec. However, DNA profiling shows that what the Argentine people have named as Bonarda, is actually identical to California’s Charbono—and Charbono is actually a grape called Douce Noire from Savoie, a mountainous wine region in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes of eastern France. The Argentine wine called Bonarda is typically linear, somewhat complex and loaded with black fruit. California Charbono is beautifully concentrated in a deep magenta color and presents lively and juicy red fruit, spice and a pleasant grip in the finish.

In Italy, in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese and Emilia Romagna’s Colli Piacentini zones, the grape called Bonarda is not Bonarda at all but instead, Croatina. In Novara, Bonarda Novarese, used to ease the tannins of Spanna (Nebbiolo), is actually Uva Rara. The wines labeled as Bonarda from Oltrepò Pavese are spicy, medium to light bodied and full of both red and black fruit.

Bonarda Piemontese is an aromatic variety that covered 30% of the region before phylloxera. Today it grows sporadically in Piedmont, mainly near Govone. Bonarda Piemontese is actually Bonarda.

WBO30104543_2011 Item# 138829