El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This has aromas of fresh plums, raspberries, currants, tobacco leaves and bark. Medium-bodied with supple tannins and a creamy, vibrant and fresh palate. Juicy fruit. Drink now or hold
It was curious to see how the Cabernet Franc in cooler years seemed to have ripened more thoroughly, and the 2019 Cabernet Franc and the 2021 felt riper than the 2020, with darker fruit and a headier sensation, despite all being around 13.5% alcohol. These bottlings are never 100% from the variety, and this one contains some 10% Malbec. It has some spicy oak in the background. Best after 2022.
Cassis, violet, herb and pepper aromas lead on to a restrained palate of red fruit, tobacco and sandy tannins. Blend: 90% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec.
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.