Bodegas CARO ‘Caro’ Mendoza 2017

Deep ruby color; red berry, plum, black fruits, leather, violets on the nose; red plum, blackberry, cherry, blackcurrant, raspberry, mint, oak, chocolate on the palate.

Bodegas CARO ‘Caro’ Mendoza 2017

Dry; fine, firm tannins with balancing acidity (3.66 pH). Full and expansive in the mouth. Blend of 74% malbec, 26% cabernet sauvignon. Grapes hand-harvested. Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for 20 days with pump overs to relax tannins and fix color. Natural malolactic fermentation. Finished in French oak barrels, 80% new, for 18 months. 14% ABV

Malbec was somewhat minor grape in France. When Frenchman Jean Pouget introduced malbec to Argentina in 1868, malbec found its home. Bodegas Caro is a joint venture in Mendoza between Nicolás Catena and Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). For many wine enthusiasts, Mendoza is synonymous with Malbec. It has experienced major success in the past 20 years, driven by its dense fruit flavors and approachable tannins. The website notes: “Initial enthusiasm quickly became a concrete plan to produce a single wine that would combine French and Argentine cultures and the two signature grapes of each producer, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.”

CARO vineyard

Caro is one of three Catena-Rothschild labels: CARO, Amancaya, and Aruma. CARO is the premium label. Philippe Rolet is the winemaker. The website notes: “The Bodegas CARO winery, in the heart of Mendoza, has been producing the wines since the 2003 vintage and serves as the anchor of the CARO project. The renovation of the historic building and gardens in order to expand the winery and open the Bodega to the outside brings the final touch to the original project.”

Bodegas CARO ‘Caro’ Mendoza 2017 delivers ripe dark fruits, full body, plenty of substance and concentration. Substantial weight and richness. This is a big wine that simultaneously is approachable, thanks to the reserved malbec tannins that are respectful of the inside of your cheeks. This did not have to be decanted to round it out or tone it down. Very tasty in a dark fruit arena. The reserved alcohol—for this type of wine—contributes to its affable character and compatibility with food. Pair with beef; grilled steak; roast beef; slow-cooked brisket; roasted leg of lamb; pork roast and grilled pork; gourmet hamburger; poultry, especially dark meats like duck and dark meat of chicken; spaghetti and meatballs. $59-65

CARO website

Taub Family Selections, U.S. importer website

CARO bottle cave
Dr. Nicolás Catena and his wife, Elena
Baron Eric de Rothschild