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El Enemigo Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
  • JS98
  • RP94
13.5% ABV
  • JS95
  • WS90
  • WS90
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4.4 10 Ratings
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4.4 10 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Gold-green opaque color. On the nose it offers floral and vegetable notes, which assert their wild side, albeit delicately. Aged in French oak, this wine is toasty, spicy and salty; refreshing with some honeyed notes.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
This is really amazing with an exotic dried-fruit character of pineapple and mangoes. Full-bodied, rich and fruity with cream, pie-crust and caramel character. Crazy chardonnay with a little Jura style and some flor undertones. It really does have flor in the barrel when aging. Love. Get it. Drink now.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
With an even darker, more intense golden color but fresher aromas and flavors compared to the 2015 vintage, the 2016 El Enemigo Chardonnay has more noticeable notes of curry and nuts, with higher acidity, which gives it somewhat of a Jura character. It has 13.5% alcohol and 7.4 grams of acidity (in tartaric), so, very healthy natural parameters. It had a longer élevage sous voile, up to 13 months, so that probably explains why the yeasty and spicy character is more marked here than in the 2015. Winemaker Alejandro Vigil likes it like this, but he doesn't want more of the flor character, as it's not supposed to be a flor wine. Superb! It will be very interesting to see how this wine ages in bottle. 14,000 bottles were filled in September 2017.
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El Enemigo

El Enemigo

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El Enemigo, Mendoza, Argentina
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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, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source 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 that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

HNYENEECY16C_2016 Item# 430377