The 2009 El Gran Enemigo is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec that sees a 30% whole bunch maceration and is aged in French and American oak for 18 months, of which 35% is new. It has a broody, introspective bouquet with touches of licorice, bay leaf and black olive. The palate is full-bodied with again, broody black fruit that displays exquisite balance and poise. This is a wine built for the long term and to be frank, this is one of the finest Cabernet Franc-based blends that I have encountered. It builds in the mouth, yet never becomes overbearing on the finish, which abides by the old “iron fist in velvet glove” cliche. This “intuitive” Cabernet Franc is just beautifully blended with its bridesmaids, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Not cheap, but this effortless wine is the real deal.
This wine pairs well with grilled meat, cheese, or slow roasted beef dishes.