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November 16, 2015

Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Gualtallary 2011

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El Enemigo is the ground breaking venture formed by Adrianna Catena, the youngest daughter of Nicolas Catena and Alejandro Vigil, the Chief Winemaker of Bodega Catena Zapata for the last 13 years. Nicolas Catena Zapata remains at the forefront of the vanguard of Argentinean Malbec, his pioneering vision has elevated the region’s wines worldwide. He introduced European viticultural techniques to Argentina, including French oak barrels, drip irrigation and low yielding cutting of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay –devoting himself to perfecting high altitude vine growing.

El Enemigo represents the passion and vision of their new generation, a continuation of innovation and drive for excellence, their leading wine Gran Enemigo Gualtallary is the summit of their partnership. In 2011 Adrianna and Alejandro have created a wine which equals the highest ever Wine Advocate score given to Cantena Zapata, with a staggering 98 points. Moreover, with 98 points, El Enemigo Gran Enemigo Gualtallary 2011 is one of the highest ever scoring Argentinian wines, a remarkable achievement.

 

Vintage Score Price
Aleanna Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard 2011 98 £330
Catena Zapata Malbec Adrianna Vineyard 2011 98 £480
Vina Cobos U Nico Marchiori Vineyard 2008 98 £600
Vina Cobos Cobos Volturno Marchiori Vineyard 2009 98 £680
Vina Cobos Malbec Marchiori Vineyard 2006 99 £690
Achaval Ferrer Temporis 2008 98 £720

 

Gran Enemigo Gualtallary is a single vineyard plot, located in Tupungatito, the northernmost sub-region of the Uco Valley in Mendoza. The sub-region boasts incredible altitude, with its very own volcano, which erupted in 1987; as such the soil abounds with deep Calcareous matter perfect for growing Malbec and Cabernet Franc at high altitude, 1430 meters in the case of the Gualtallary vineyard. In 2015 Luis Gutierrez has named Gran Enemigo Gualtallary 2011 as his Argentinean wine of the year, only challenged by Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Malbec, which is named after Adrianna and – of course – fashioned by Alejandro Vigil.
In 2011 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary is a blend of 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Malbec. In fact, Luis Gutierrez posits the wine has inspired a new craze in Cabernet Franc growing. He also considers Gualtallary to be the new Eldorado, capable of Grand Cru level vineyards that can compete with the greatest wines in the world. Adrianna and Alejandro have chosen to utilise such a high preponderance of Cabernet Franc in honour of an old Pomerol style and with 98 points it competes with the greatest wines of Pomerol.

The bad news is that only 570 cases were produced in 2011, a Pomerol-esque production which has sold out globally.  We can offer 50 cases today and at £55 per bottle, this 98 point scoring wine will sell out fast, but age and improve until 2030. ‘At this quality level the price seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, only 3,400 bottles were produced’ Luis Gutierrez.

Luis Gutierrez, 98 Pts

The 2010 was a hard act to follow, and the 2011 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard had to fulfill great expectations. There is less color in this 2011 (I popped a bottle of the 2010 for comparison) and more notes reminiscent of Cabernet Franc (Alejandro Vigil harvested even earlier in 2010), because it is mostly Cabernet Franc from a very chalky vineyard in Gualtallary at 1,430 meters altitude that fermented together with a small percentage of Malbec. 50% of the volume was fermented with destemmed Cabernet Franc and full-cluster Malbec. The grapes from the most calcareous soils underwent a carbonic maceration in small bins, and after one week they are pressed and the juice finishes fermenting as if it were a white wine. The texture is very fine and the acidity seems like if it had a timer and shoots a second later than you expect it, creating a small explosion in your taste buds. That provides a very long aftertaste and almost citric flavors with a mineral, almost salty finish. At the end of the day this feels lighter but at the same time more complex than the 2010. If you want to understand what Gualtallary can do, find a bottle of this wine. It’s drinkable now, but it should have a long life in bottle. At this quality level the price seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, only 3,400 bottles were produced. Drink 2015-2027.

To buy this wine click here