Caro Caro 2016
|Argentina, Mendoza, Alto Vale de Uco
Joint Venture between Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena.
This wine has a dark and intense color. The nose reveals aromas of dark fruit such as blackcurrant and blueberry. On the palate, the wine is well-balanced with a good concentration and persistent freshness. The ripe and well-integrated tannins contribute to the harmonious feel of this wine. The finish is smooth with subtle notes of oak.
This is one of the most direct and clear Caros in a long time with blue-fruit, violet and sandalwood aromas and flavors. Crushed-stone, too. Full-bodied, yet tight and contracted with a level of shyness to its strength. The length derives from the excellence of the cabernet. One for the cellar. Blend of 74% malbec and 26% cabernet sauvignon. Try after 2023, but exciting to drink all the same.
The cedary nose of the 2016 Caro transported me to the wines from Bordeaux, and the explanation might be because the blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Malbec-the highest percentage of Cabernet in the history of Caro. This has very good complexity; it feels young (Cabernet tends to develop at a slower pace than Malbec), even though it matured in 100% new oak the oak is very integrated. The barriques are only produced by the Lafite barrel makers, and there is great care in the selection of the wood and the toast; the barrels are designed to produce a more elegant style of wine, subtle and harmonious, with a notable absence of toasted and smoky aromas. This wine is polished and sleek, but there is nice balance to develop nicely in bottle for a good decade. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.
The path taken over the years by CARO, a joint venture between Catena and Rothschild, has seen some interesting turns, shifting from Luján de Cuyo to the Uco Valley. Today, it is a blend of 74% Malbec and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon from Paraje de Altamira, aged for 12–18 months in French barrels. Bordeaux in style, it is bright purple in the glass and dominated in this instance by elegant woody flavors, revealing hints of plum and violet along with touches of orange petit-fours and bell pepper for complexity. Juicy and malleable, with a texture kept gently in check by active tannins, it delivers a cleansing finish of mint and herbs. A wine with precisely defined flavors in which each detail has been considered at length. Perfectly balanced for cellar aging.