Casa Vigil (El Enemigo) 

Casa Vigil (El Enemigo) 

Mendoza, February 2022-Revised

Story and photos by Christopher J Davies

The recent cold snap in the US has caused me to reflect on warmer times. This story was featured in Wine Country International ® Magazine in 2022. It has been revised to reflect new information and developments. The Argentine Peso has decreased dramatically in value since our visit in February 2022. Prices may not be accurate and will likely be lower.

Alejandro Vigil is one of Argentina's most avant-garde winemakers. He has a degree in agriculture and irrigation, two critical skills necessary for successful grape growing in arid Argentina. He is the Winemaking Director at Bodega Catena Zapata, the legendary and highly successful fourth-generation family-owned winery. Vigil joined Argentinian wine visionary Nicolás Catena Zapata in his quest to create world-class, Grand Cru-level wines. Nicolás's daughter, Dr. Laura Catena, leads the company now. Alejandro Vigil is credited with producing the first two 100-point wines from Argentina.


El Enemigo was created in 2010 by Alejandro Vigil and Adrianna Catena, Nicolás Catena's youngest daughter. El Enemigo means "the enemy" in Spanish. Adrianna grew up in Argentina, watching her father's immense success in permanently putting Argentinian wines on the global wine map.
We visited during harvest and enjoyed a delicious lunch and wine tasting at Casa Vigil Bodega, a wine-tasting room with a fantastic wine shop and restaurant. The walk from the parking lot took us through vineyards and passed eclectic art installations.


Wines Tasted: 

El Enemigo 2018 Semillon (****) $28 to $22.99
Gold straw. Made in an old-world style. Aromas of white flowers, earth, and stone.
Great finish! 10% are new barrels, and 90% are used barrels.
El Enemigo 2018 Chardonnay (**** 1/2) $24.99
Yellow straw. Aromas of citrus, earth, granny smith apples. Tastes of dried apple and pear.
It is made from grapes grown in the Uco Valley.
El Enemigo 2016 Gran Enemigo Agrelo Single Vineyard (**** 1/2) $99.00
Deep ruby color. It is a complex wine with herbs and a vast spice box.
Eucalyptus, thyme with ripe black fruits.
Cabernet Franc 85%, Malbec 15%
El Enemigo 2016 Gran Enemigo Chacayes Single Vineyard (****) $132-$116
Burgundy, deep purple.
Deep aromas of berries, cherries, and plums with blackberries and violets. Ripe Tannins. This wine needs to be opened one to two hours before consumption.
Cabernet Franc 85%, Malbec 15%
El Enemigo 2016 Gran Enemigo El Cepillo Single Vineyard (****) $65
Ruby color. Dark fruit with green bell pepper, strawberries, and cherries. Firm tannins.
Cabernet Franc 85%, Malbec 15%
Estate Olive Oil
Alejandro and his wife launched another venture, "Old Tree," which makes several lines of olive oil. The couple and family members are behind the project, taking a scientific approach. We tasted Lussuria and the estate's premium olive oil, Omerta.


Casa Bodega Vigil Restaurant
We sat with Mariana, the export manager, at a lovely table in the back of the restaurant to unpack my camera gear away from other diners. The décor was warm and welcoming. The stone walls were adorned with paintings and modern art, including a round kaleidoscope-style window that allowed psychedelic purple, red, and blue light patterns to enter. Wine barrels were carefully stacked in different corners and nooks of the dining room.
The restaurant features a contemporary menu with a rich selection of dishes.
They source seasonal ingredients showcasing fresh ingredients from within the Mendoza region. They also use fresh ingredients from Alejandro and his wife María's garden.
Casa Bodega Vigil Restaurant has been awarded One Michelin Star for its outstanding cooking and One Michelin Green Star for their commitment to gastronomy and sustainability.

The main "Executive" Menu offers a three-course lunch (without wines) for 5,800 pesos/USD 44.
Wanting to sample several dishes, I ordered the more extensive Six-Course Menu with wine pairings for 11,500 pesos/USD 86.

The Dishes:
I also ordered the delicious Gazpacho cold soup with a rich rustic tomato, creamy Parmesan, and brightly fresh basil leaves.
Another stand-out that caught my attention was the Ossobuco Empanada with Tomato Chimichurri. Bravo for an exquisite taste.


Veal Ribs / Andean Potato / Zucchini / Demi-Glace / Mushrooms
Silverside* / Lime Cream / Watercress & Fennel / Chili Jam
Beetroot / Chocolate / Lavender
* Silverside is a small fish with large eyes and silver stripes on both sides. This fish can be found in freshwater or saltwater. It is originally indigenous to Australia but can also be caught in the rivers and sea near Buenos Aires.

Dishes were paired with: 

  • Gran Enemigo Chardonnay
  • Gran Enemigo Blend
  • Gran Enemigo Chacayes Single Vineyard
  • Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard

The food and wines were exquisite. We highly recommend this restaurant as a must-stop in Mendoza.

El Enemigo Wines:
Casa Vigil: