2018 Bodega Aleanna 'El Enemigo' Chardonnay
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
For new world Chardonnay fans looking for complexity and finesse without compromising on price, Bodega Aleanna is a name you should immediately put on your radar. A quick glance at the price of today’s ‘El Enemigo’ Chardonnay might cause a double take, but it’s no typo. This 97pt “rock-star Chardonnay” (Suckling) is an absolute knockout at a mere $23.94, and it is unlike most Chardonnay we’ve had from either North or South America. A little digging shows that this is no flash in the pan. Winemaker Alejandro Vigil made his name at Catena Zapata, one of Argentina’s top wineries, and Vigil has developed a unique and fine tuned barrel aging program inspired by Burgundy, the Jura, and California all at once! From a single, high elevation vineyard on chalky soils, this is a unique Chardonnay that is both adventurous and familiar, and for under $25!
Started as a joint venture between Catena winemaker Alejandro Vigil and wine historian Adrianna Catena, Bodega Aleanna is now “one of the leading names in the whole of Argentina” (Wine Advocate) and their terroir-focused ‘El Enemigo’ lineup is “a must if you want to understand Argentina's potential.” Vigil uses a mix of French oak barrels, including some aged sous voile, with the flor typically found in wines from Jura and Jerez. That adds a spicy layer with notes of hazelnuts to match its full, structured palate, and there’s still plenty of cool climate freshness. At this price, it’s a no-brainer case purchase from a producer at the forefront of Argentine wine!
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. Drink or hold."
*Offer publication date December 31, 2020. Pricing and availability subject to change.