The trend continues today with perhaps the greatest white wine ever out of Argentina. You might assume it would be a Torrentes as I did when the bottle was dropped off by the importer with a note covering the label – “One of your faves just did it again. Not what you think.”
A few seconds after the first whiff, I knew this wasn’t Torrentes but something far more complex. On the nose alone, I could already tell… this was going to be one of the best Chardonnays we’re going to offer this year. I ripped off the note. “El Enemigo by Catena.”
On the surface, a $30 Chardonnay– underneath a whole lot more. This wine is insane– wild flor yeasts that develop naturally in the barrels, help give this wine an added layer of sophistication in addition to the aromatic fireworks show. Similar to Giovanni Almondo’s “El Rive”, the barrels in this Chardonnay help to round things out, giving a wine that typically doesn’t see any oak in Mendoza, a welcomed creamy component.
The El Enemigo is always a critical darling and 2018 is no different – except this year, we’ve got enough to offer – well almost enough. James Suckling gave this effort 97 points and called it “another rock star Chardonnay”.
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97 Points, James Suckling
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.
93 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
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.
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