Renowned winemaker of Catena Zapata, Alejandro Vigil, and businesswoman, Adrianna Catena, went into partnership and brought to life their own entrepreneurship, Aleanna winery. This is located in Tunuyán, Mendoza (Argentina) and has a capacity of 250 thousand liters. Among other technical features, the winery has a storage capacity of 150 thousand bottles and a bottling line that achieves an output of 2,500 bottles per hour.
Aleanna is a small winery as regards its production but it makes top quality wines. In order to give life to its products, the winery farms its own 12-hectare vineyards and 4 hectares owned by independent growers, all of them located in Gualtallary, Tupungato. The varieties planted are Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Viognier.
“Gualtallary’s main features are its high altitude and the wide temperature ranges that differentiate this region from others in Mendoza,” said Alejandro Vigil.
Regarding their wines, the winemaker explained that “in Gualtallary, uncommon textures and natural acidity can be achieved, boosting a distinctive freshness with aromatic character that is almost wild. They are wines of great personality.”
Catena and Vigil’s joint effort gave rise to the range of wines “El Enemigo” (The Enemy). Striking due to its name and winemaking features, Aleanna’s wines became well-known quite fast.
According to the winery’s definition “El Enemigo symbolizes a man’s battle against himself.” When asked about the wine’s consistency, they expressed “this wine is well-structured and concentrated; it is a blend that inspires and brings back good memories of the past, evoking historical and artisanal aspects of vine growing and winemaking.”
Currently, the export brand El Enemigo (varietal wines) and El Gran Enemigo (blend) are available in the US, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, UK, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic.
So as to better understand Vigil’s working style, it is worthy to mention some of his products. El Enemigo Malbec 2008, explains the winemaker, “contains a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes, co-fermented in bins. It displays a complex nose, a very expressive mouth of ripe fruit, dried fruit and round tannins.”
For its part, El Gran Enemigo 2008 was made with Cabernet Franc and Malbec grapes and some others that the winemaker did not reveal. Only 3,200 bottles are produced at a price of USD 70. “It takes a lot of work during the harvest; grapes are picked up in 7 different times during the same season,” Vigil remarked.
Tim Atkin’s distinction
The renowned master of wine, Tim Atkin, posted on May 10 a list of his favorite 50 wines from Argentina. Among them, he mentioned El Gran Enemigo 2008 within the red blends category.
In this selection, the wine critic “tried to show as many wines as possible that reflected their terroir rather than an imposed winemaking style.”
Translation: Rocio Acosta