El Enemigo Wines for Why Not Wednesday
This week we have Constanza Hartung in store. She is the export director for El Enemigo a winery in Mendoza,Argentina. Argentina is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. Argentine wine, as with some aspects of Argentine cuisine, has its roots in Spain. During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and the cultivation of the grape and wine production stretched first to neighboring regions, and then to other parts of the country. This week we have Constanza Hartung in store. She is the export director for El Enemigo.
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. Winemaking Philosophy El Enemigo is produced at Piedemonte al Sur, located in southern foothills of Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. The facility is named for the unique aspect of Mendoza’s high-altitude winemaking region nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Alejandro Vigil is a soil expert, a winemaker and an animal lover. He is the Chief Winemaker at Bodega Catena Zapata and the former head of the soil division at Argentina’s Wine Institute. Among his many pets, he keeps a cow to produce milk for donation to the local school children. Adrianna Catena is the daughter of Nicolas Catena. She is a graduate student in Early Modern Spanish history at the University of Oxford, UK. Her dream is to continue the family legacy of winemaking, while pursuing a passion for history and writing from a cottage surrounded by vineyards in the Argentine Andes.
El Enemigo, Bonarda 2013 :: $40 sale $36
El Enemigo Bonarda has a profound violet color with bluish hues. The nose is rich and complex with intense ripe blackberries, raspberries and black cherries, laced with dark chocolate, liqueur and typical Cabernet Franc notes of fresh, aromatic herbs. On the palate, a sweet entry leads to a wine packed with ripe red and black fruit mingled with subtle liquorice and vanilla. Finishes long and lingering with fresh, crisp acidity and soft, velvety tannins.
El Enemigo, Malbec 2013 :: $36 sale $32
El Enemigo Malbec is fermented in both 225 liter barrels and old cement containers like those used a long time ago in Mendoza.
“Malbec is a wine to drink when you are thirsty, in quantity with friends,” says Alejandro. El Enemigo Malbec is made to be drank this way, not so heavy but with high acidity. “It’s got to be able to stand up to the roasted pig and to the unquenchable thirst of my neighbors in the Republic of Chachingo,” says Alejandro smiling.
El Enemigo, Mendoza Cabernet Franc 2014 :: $40 sale $36
The grapes are sourced from Gualtallary, limestone soils, round rocks and extreme high altitude – ideal for making a wine of elegance and ageability.
The winemaking is traditional Mendoza style. Alejandro brought old 100 year old Alsatian foudres (barrels) from Italy and had them re-toasted and reassembled in Mendoza. The gentleness of this wood, brings out the true character of cool climate cabernet franc.
El Enemigo, Mendoza Gran Enemigo 2010 :: $104 sale $96
The nose presents sweet aromas of black ripen fruits with hints of vanilla and chocolate, which appear after the oak ageing. The mouthfeel is sweet with structured, persistent tannins due to the natural acidity of this wine, leading into an excellent long finish.El Gran Enemigo is an assemblage of four grapes with a majority of Cabernet Franc, 73%. “Adrianna and I make it in honor of the old Pomerol style where Cabernet Franc was blended with the other Bordeaux varieties,” says Alejandro.
We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl and #Neverabadbottle so we can CHEERS!
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