El Enemigo Gran Enemigo Chacayes Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2018
Blend: 85% Cabernet Franc, 15% Malbec
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2018 Gran Enemigo Chacayes Single Vineyard is a blend of Cabernet Franc with some 15% Malbec mixed in the vineyard. It comes from younger vines than the ones from the classical zones, as the vines were planted in 2004 in The Vines of Mendoza complex at 1,100 meters in altitude. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and with some 50% whole clusters and aged in old oak foudres. Tasted next to the 2019 and 2020, this shows a little more body and tannin, coming through as slightly rustic. Best after 2022.
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.
Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Somm Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.