When you hear in the wine world that a vineyard/winery has paired with Domaines Barons de Rothchild (Lafite), it’s worth taking note. That’s what the Catena family did with Bodegas Caro wines back in 1999, and the resulting wines from the partnership are worth finding!
On a virtual wine tasting with Phillipe Rolet, estate manager for Caro (http://www.lafite.com/en/the-domaines/bodegas-caro/), we were introduced to three current vintages: Caro 2017, Amancaya 2017 and Aruma 2018. These Mendoza, Argentine, wines are Malbec or cabernet sauvignon varietals, or combos of both.
The Rothchild contribution to the wines means there’s a strong Bordeaux style combined with the Argentinian wine styles. This brings good red wines to the table, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money, either. These would be great to bring to a holiday table, or give as a gift.
Here’s a short review of each, all available online or in local wine stores:
Aruma, $15, Malbec
This is a great wine for the cost, a traditional Malbec grown in high altitudes, with a lot of fruit concentration in the taste. It’s very good by itself – don’t forget to chill it first, as you should every wine no matter the color.
“It invites you to drink another glass,” says Phillipe Rolet, and that is the mark of a good sipping wine. He likes this wine with a juicy burger.
Amencaya, $20, Malbec/Cabernet sauvignon blend
The Malbec is 85 percent of this wine, which means there’s a good balance between acidity and sugar. This would be a great pairing with blue cheeses, a rack of lamb, and portabello mushrooms. It’s a bit spicy on taste, but also smooth and I liked this just for sipping, too.
Caro 2017, $65, Malbec/Cabernet sauvignon blend
“Let this one open before drinking,” says Rolet. “I don’t recommend decanting it, just uncork and taste. It’s a layered wine.”
It’s also the most expensive, but it’s worth the price. (You can’t say that about all expensive wines; I’ve tasted some that weren’t worth it.) The first vintage of this wine was in 2000; this red blend is split equally between malbec and cab sauvignon. It has a seductive nose to it, all black fruits and a little earth. It is a smooth, silky wine, great with food – especially red meat.