Caro (catena And Rothschild)
caro domaine barons rothschild '18 750ml
CARO was born of the alliance between two wine cultures (French and Argentine), two noble grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec), and two renowned wine families, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena. Both vignerons since the 19th century, these two powerful organizations have combined their deep knowledge of Mendoza's high altitude terroir and the art of winemaking to create a unique portfolio of wines: CARO, Amancaya, and Aruma. Two noble grapes, two families, one dear and elegant portfolio of wines.
VARIETAL COMPOSITION 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec
The 2017 vintage was characterized by slightly above average rainfall (7.5 inches instead of 4 inches) especially during bud break. Temperatures were close to seasonal average with the exception of the frost that caused some damage to the vines on October 21st. Towards the end of the summer, the nights during February were up to 4 degrees warmer than usual. This phenomenon and a generally dry quarter allowed the cabernet to reach an optimal level of maturity and had an accelerating effect on the harvest, which started two to three weeks earlier. The grapes are characterized by a good balance between sugar and acidity and by the softness of their tannins.
CARO is made with the utmost care, just like our Bordeaux Grands Crus. Grapes are carefully selected and hand harvested. After destemming, they are placed in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for alcoholic fermentation. Maceration lasts for a period of 20 days with gentle pump-over to ease tannin extraction and fix the color. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally in tanks.
The wine is aged in French oak barrels made by the Tonnellerie des Domaines in Pauillac (50% new oak) for a period of 18 months.
This wine has a dark, intense color, with hints of violet. The nose reveals a complex mix of aromas including raspberry, black pepper, violets, cloves and subtle notes of dark chocolate. On the palate the wine is well-balanced with a refreshing acidity and ripe tannins that contribute to the harmony and smoothness of the palate.
97 points - James Suckling
"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."
94 points - Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
"The 2017 CARO is bold, powerful, and firm on the palate. TASTING NOTES: This wine shines with persistent aromas and flavors of bold black fruit and sweet oak. Pair it with a grilled, juicy, well-marbled ribeye."
92 points - Wine & Spirits
"The flagship wine of the partnership between Catena and the French firm Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), this is an ambitious blend of malbec and cabernet (74/26) aged a year and a half in barrels, 60 percent new. It's smooth and polished, with the sweet, nutty richness of Nutella and a fruit-compote intensity."
91 points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2017 Caro was produced as a blend of 74% Malbec and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon. It matured in French oak barrels, 80% of them new, for 18 months. It has notes of ripe black fruit, licorice and a touch of earth, leather and graphite. The palate reveals some astringency and a dry finish with some bitterness from the oak. 56,000 bottles and 1,520 magnums produced. It was bottled in February 2019."
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