Bodega Aleanna 'Gran Enemigo', Mendoza, Argentina 2016

Bodega Aleanna 'Gran Enemigo', Mendoza, Argentina 2016

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97 Points Wine Advocate

The varietal blend of the 2016 Gran Enemigo is slightly different from the 2015 I tasted next to it; here, there's a bit more Cabernet Franc and less Cabernet Sauvignon, so 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Malbec, 10% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot; but the wine was produced exactly the same: vinification (wild fermentation, shortish maceration) and élevage (in large used French oak vats), so what we see here are the differences provided by the year. 2016 was a very unusual vintage, when they saw more rain than ever (they didn't irrigate the vineyards), and the average temperature was much lower. It was not an easy year, especially in the classical zone of Mendoza, but in Gualtallary, where these grapes come from, it was a truly excellent harvest, one of the best in recent times (until 2018 came).
The wine is fresher and more nuanced than the 2015, and there is clout and power but also a lot of finesse and elegance. The palate revealed superb harmony and very fine tannins, the acidity is very integrated and the wine is seamless, with fine chalky minerality and a bitterness in the finish that is salty rather than sweet. There is no room for sweetness in any of these wines; these are savory wines, powerful wines with superb balance and all the ingredients to develop slowly and for a very long time in bottle and destined for the dining table. It fills your mouth, but it's not heavy; it's powerful but feels ethereal. This is probably the finest vintage for this bottling so far.