2016 Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Argentina

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  • 99WA Single Vineyard Cab Franc
  • Top Producer in Argentina
  • 97+ points each year since 2010
  • "Should live forever in bottle" ~WA
  • Free Shipping on 6 or more bottles of this wine

About the Wine

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. Year in and year out, the wines of Bodega Aleanna are heralded amongst the best wines of Argentina. With the 2016 Grand Enemigo SV Gualtallay, Vigil and Catena are able to capture the finest expression of terroir delivering unprecedented excellence with a style of wine that pays tribute to the old Pomerol style. This wine is a knockout, perfectly defined by its power and length! 

If you recognize the name, then you know this is also the winemaker for Catena Zapata, one of the preeminent wineries in Argentina. This project was launched with Adrianna Catena in 2007. The Cabernet Franc has vaulted from obscurity to one of the finest in the world, on par with Right Bank chateau that sell for 3-5 times as much (inquire and we will advise if available).

Aging: 7 months in French oak barrels.

Tasting notes: 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Malbec. Gran Enemigo SV Gualtallary shows a deep purple color with red highlights. Its aromas are intense and elegant. Cabernet Franc brings sweet spices, black pepper, and light notes of eucalyptus and thyme. Malbec brings notes of ripe black fruits, blackberries, and black cherries. The oak aging gives a touch of chocolate and vanilla to blend. The wine is complex, sweet impact with structured tannins, and a very long and persistent finish. This wine was made in honor of the old Pomerol style where Cabernet Franc was blended with the other Bordeaux varieties.


The nose of the 2016 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard transported me back to the classical wines from the Bordeaux of yesteryear, with austerity and with no room for sweetness or creamy texture. This is about chalk and umami, salty and tasty, with the clout and wilderness of Gualtallary; its electric freshness and fine tannins; the expression of Cabernet Franc (with some Merlot) in the poor, stony and limestone-rich soils from the high-altitude vineyards; and the intensity this altitude provides, as there is a strong impact from the light in the grapes. But the one thing that I liked the most about this 2016 was its balance and the way it feels light but has tremendous concentration and power, light on its feet with masses of inner strength. It's nuanced and complex, even if it's terribly young. With time in the glass, it developed notes of orange peel that spoke of freshness, and the palate is sharp and direct, with symmetry and precision. This is approachable now but should live forever in bottle. 2,500 bottles produced. ~99 Wine Advocate

The cool 2016 vintage allowed for sophisticated wines with precise freshness in Luján de Cuyo. This blend of 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Malbec by Alejandroi Vigil is heady and compelling, with an abundance of layers. A truly stunning wine. ~97 Decanter

The blue fruit, crushed chalk, and stone are so exciting here, as always. Full-bodied with fresh fruit and fine, vertical tannin texture going through the center palate. Softness and balance throughout. So drinkable now, but will improve with age. ~96 James Suckling

Gran Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2016 is a unique, intense little pearl. Mixed with 15% Malbec, it is all open expression, delivering violets, sour cherry, and blood with wet stone and hints of herb alongside subtle notes of arugula and dry flowers. In the mouth, it’s extremely energetic, the tannins filling out the profile and marshaling the flow with just the right measure of chalk. Lingers comfortably at the back of the mouth without losing its equilibrium. Outstanding. ~96 Vinous Media

"Finesse, finesse, finesse,” says Ale Vigil of this brilliant Gualtallary paso doble of Cabernet Franc and 15% Malbec. Fermented with 50% whole bunches and aged in venerable foudres, it’s a classy, polished, effortlessly nuanced co-fermentation with fine tannins, chalky zip and length, impressive focus, and fresh, tangy black fruit. 2021-28 ~96 Tim Akin MW

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