2020 Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Chardonnay
Wine Details for 2020 Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Chardonnay
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: Whether it's full-bodied, Pedro Gimenez-infused stunners, refreshing Riesling elixirs, or a tasteful bottle of Pinot Gris, Argentina is a white wine lover's paradise. Wholly bound to just one varietal per wine, these bottles should be treated as fine art. Let your worries dissipate as the wine courses through your body and mind.
: Chardonnay has carved its path towards the title “king of white grapes” in subtle yet striking fashion, playing instrumental roles throughout the course of history. It was the chosen grape variety which celebrated the inception of the very first Champagne house - Ruinart, which insists “Chardonnay is the golden thread that runs through the Ruinart taste. “ “Remember men, it’s not just France we’re fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill. The infamous and celebrated French author, Alexandre Dumas once declared a high quality chardonnay wine from Le Montrachet was one that is only appropriate to sip “on bended knees, with head bowed.” And of course, history was made once again when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first prize in the famous tasting of the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” changing the world’s view on California Chardonnay, inspiring vintners and altering the landscape of California winemaking forever.
The origin of the Chardonnay grape can be traced back to the small village of Macon in the Burgundy appellation of France. The varietal, whose name means “a place of thistles” in Latin, is the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Like most prominent grape varietals, the exact circumstances of its inception are unknown; however, it is interesting to note that Gouais Blanc originated in Germany. It is speculated that the ancient Romans, who successfully subdued the Germanic tribes in 6 AD, planted Gouais Blanc in French soil, unwittingly prompting the crossbreeding of the two varietals. If this is the case, the history of the Chardonnay grape goes back much further.
The Noble Chardonnay grape variety is most happy in the winegrowing appellation of Burgundy, its home and birth place. Burgundy’s grand Terroir of marl limestone soils and cool climate allows the Chardonnay grape to express itself to its full zenith. Interestingly, the varietal is extremely flexible and can adapt to a wide diversity of soils, allowing the terroir in which it grows to dictate the qualities of the grape and thus revealing a multitude of personalities. For instance, there are subtle yet distinguishing differences in terroir in the Burgundian villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Macon, etc. which are all fashioned in their own unique way. The difference in each Climat or Lieu-dit, such as Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) and Valmur (Chablis) can take one further down the proverbial “rabbit-hole” and into the wonderful, yet complex world of Burgundy wines. However, Burgundy is but one prime growing location for this tremendously adaptable grape variety.
The spread of Chardonnay would eventually take root in Champagne, where it excelled in the region’s cool climate and chalky, sub-soils. For top Champagne producers, it became the main ingredient in their high quality, high profile Blanc de Blancs. It would also begin to be blended with the two other acceptable varietals of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red skinned grapes). The chardonnay grape is now planted in 10,000 of the 34,000 hectares of Champagne.
Chardonnay would find its way to California in the late 1800’s but would remain obscure for more than a century due to ignorance of the varietal and lack of knowledge on how to marry it with appropriate terroir. Things changed in the 1970’s when Chardonnay saw a resurgence world-wide, mostly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris. The unthinkable happened when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena bested some of Burgundy’s finest chardonnay offerings from Batard-Montrachet and Meursault. This event helped place California on the map, changing the face of California winemaking forever. It rejuvenated the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape variety, which saw an exponential growth world-wide.
Much like the climats of Burgundy which have their own unique terroir, Chardonnay’s adaptability has found a home in the diverse appellations, terroirs and climates of California. The cool climate locations produce crisp wines with Burgundian nuances, while warmer climates produce wines with opulent, ripe fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango and papaya. Terroir also dictates the personality, steel and concrete tanks versus oak, and the list goes. From buttery, oak-infused heady wines to crisp, refreshing cool climate fashioned Chardonnays, the grape variety can be extremely modified. There are not enough letters in Microsoft Word to demonstrate all the different nuances, qualities, differences of terroir, climate and winemaking techniques that would encompass in full, the details of the Chardonnay grape.
The well-travelled grape varietal of Chardonnay has become the fascination of consumers around the world, becoming the most written about of all grapes. Today, it is planted in over 40 countries, amassing an impressive 211,000 hectares (500,000 acres) across the globe. From Burgundy to Champagne, Napa to Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Chardonnay graces vineyards around the world, captivating its audience with its multiple personalities. “So powerful is the ‘C-word’ on a wine label,” as the famed Jancis Robinson exclaimed. Since its discovery in Macon, this C-word has become a dominant force in the world of wine, changing history, winemaking and the understanding of winegrowing and its powerful attributes to a single varietal.
: Argentina’s landscape is marked by its extreme geographical features; from the soaring, rocky peaks of the Andes’ and coastal Patagonia to the arid soils of Mendoza to the fertile Pampas lowlands in the east. Its vast array of landscapes, climate and geography, along with truly accomplished and passionate vintners has helped galvanize its name among the very best wine producing regions in the world. Its adopted grape variety, Malbec, is now responsible for some of Argentina’s most famous wines and has helped to elevate its ever growing wine industry.
Vines have been cultivated in Argentina since the 1500’s; however it was not until the 1990s when its true potential was recognized, drawing the attention of accomplished winemakers to its diverse soils. After making a name for himself in California, Paul Hobbs’ foresight and vision led him to cultivate Argentinian soil. More than merely an exploration of terroirs, Vina Cobos was created to showcase what is possible with one of the world’s most compelling noble varietals, Malbec, in a land where its soul soars above all others. Its inaugural vintage marked a milestone, but two decades later, Cobos made history when the 2011 vintage Cobos Malbec became the country’s first professionally rated 100-point wine, defying existing standards and firmly positioning Malbec and Argentina on the international wine scene. This accomplishment became the blueprint that many others would follow.
Today, the high altitude deserts have given rise to a high quality wine industry. The region of Mendoza has gained global recognition for its quality production of Malbec, the ubiquitous and most compelling varietal cultivated in Argentina. Three quarters of Argentinian wine production takes place in Mendoza with Mendoza Malbec accounting for 85% of all Malbec produced in the country. In addition to its flagship varietal, Argentina also boasts significant plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Bonarda and its signature, aromatic white varietal, Torrontes. In more recent years, vineyards have been planted to Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo.
Despite its location near the equator, extreme temperatures are muted by the high altitudes and cold mountain air. Argentina is home to a world-topping vineyard and currently the highest elevation being cultivated at a whopping 9,900 feet above sea level. The Andes’ play a significant role in its climate as it casts a rain shadow over its foothills, allowing very little rain fall and a slow growing season. This slow ripening period leads to concentrated fruit, balanced sugars and acidity in the grapes. From the southern reaches of Patagonia to the northern regions of Salta and Catamarca, the land plays a vital role in the winegrowing and making practices here. Its terroir is well suited to not only Malbec, but to the many varieties in the country’s portfolio.
Argentina boasts an impressive 223,500 hectares under vine with an annual wine output of 10.8 million hectoliters. The country has recently edged Australia’s production and now sits at fifth among all leading producers in the world. Argentina has become one of the most important wine producing countries on Earth, the largest region in South America and one of the principal faces of New World winemaking. Argentina is a remarkable land; one which truly tells its story through the wine itself.
: South America is a continent where you can find some of the most remarkable wines worldwide. One of the most prolific regions in this part of the world is without a doubt Mendoza, located near the Andes, in western Argentina.
Winemaking in Mendoza is a tale as old as time. In the late 19th century, wine production in this region increased and that's when Argentinian wines began their journey to some of the most luxurious restaurants outside the local market.
What makes Mendoza grapes so fascinating is the prolonged growing season due to warm weather during the day and much cooler nights, so an impeccable balance between rich sweetness and fantastic acidity can be reached. Mendoza wines are therefore quite tannic, with well-known minerality and consistent quality year after year.
In Mendoza, you're most likely to find Criolla Grande and Cereza grape varieties, along with Malbec, maybe the most widely planted variety, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This diversity contributed to Mendoza's wine tourism, featuring the National Harvest Festival celebrated in March, where you can enjoy tons of wine tasting events. Maybe you'll get a chance to meet one of the ravishing Catena Zapata blends, or a famous Malbec red called Trapiche.
|Producer||Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo|
James Suckling | 96 JS
The 2020 Chardonnay El Enemigo from Gualtallary, Uco Valley was aged in oak with flor for twelve months with 15% coming from other years. Yellowish green in the glass. The nose presents notes of hazel and chestnuts accompanied by green apple and expressive whiffs of chamomile and pineapple. In the mouth, it’s taut with heightened freshness and a compact character from the flor exposing the skeletal acidity.
Vinous Media | 94 VM
Shows Viognier-like floral notes of gardenia and honeysuckle, with an elegant yet rich body of peach and pineapple. Reveals hints of thyme and mineral on the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2026. 1,600 cases made, 1,000 cases imported.
Wine Spectator | 92 WS