El Enemigo Chardonnay 2018
Alejandro Vigil is a master of Chardonnay, as well as a man who likes to push boundaries, which is why this impressive white was made with a little flor, just like a Fino Sherry. Toasty, spicy and salty, this is briney and refreshing with some honeyed notes.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is another rock-star chardonnay from here with dried-apple, pear-skin, crushed-stone and peach-pit character. Full body. Creamy texture. Phenolic form and a long, flavorful finish.
The textbook 2018 El Enemigo Chardonnay had varietal aromas and notes from the barrel, giving it a very attractive profile. But there is a secret: the barrels develop some flor yeasts in the style of Jerez (or Jura) and this gives the wine a spicy twist, hints of curry and white pepper. The wine is silky and the very high acidity is not noticeable. This is a great commercial success, and at the price, it offers great value.
El Enemigo translates as the enemy. Nodding to the fact that at the end of any journey, most remember only one battle — the one fought within (the original enemy). This is the battle that defines us. The wines of El Enemigo are a tribute to those internal battles that make us who we are, brought to fruition by a winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, and a historian, Adrianna Catena who share a love of wine and reach back in time to capture the era when European immigrants first settled in Argentina. These settlers sought to make wines as fine, and finer, than those of their old homeland. By 1936, Malbec and Petit Verdot were the most widely planted fine varietals in Argentina, their blend considered the ultimate in refinement and aging potential.
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.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.