The story of Bodegas CARO begins in 1999 with the union of two legendary wine families, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolás Catena. The families came together with one vision, to create a world-class wine that would combine French and Argentian culture. The wine would represent the two signature grapes that represented each family, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The name CARO comes from the unique combination of the family names CA for CAtena and RO for ROthschild.
Bodegas CARO – A Blend Of Families, Culture, History & Wines
The Catena family has been producing wines in Mendoza for four generations, which allows them to draw on their experience and knowledge of the high altitudes terroirs of Mendoza. Domaine Baron Rothschild(Lafite) brought to the project centuries of experience in growing, vinifying and aging great Cabernet Sauvignon. The ultimate expertise comes in blending grape varieties, to produce blends that are highly age-worthy.
Philippe Rolet – Estate Manager at Bodegas CARO
We had the opportunity to taste and explore the wines of Bodegas CARO with their estate manager Philippe Rolet. Philippe is from Jura France. Having studied in Dijon, he started his career at Domain William Fèvre in Chablis. He later went on to become CEO and President of Alta Vista Group in Mendoza. Philippe is also at the forefront of the French Honorary Consulate in Mendoza. In 2019 he joined Bodegas CARO as the estate manager.
Bodegas CARO Winery
Philippe shared the history of the Bodegas CARO winery. The historic winery was built in 1884 and is one of the original wineries of Argentina. The winery was built during the viticultural golden age of Argentina. It was originally built in the suburbs of Mendoza, at the time when there were only 70,000 people living in the area. Today Mendoza is a bustling city with a population of 1.5 million people, and with growth, the winery is now a part of Mendoza city center. The modern-day winery has undergone a complete renovation and has been producing wines for the CARO project since 2003.
Bodegas CARO Vineyards
For both Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family, the priority was to find the finest terroir to create the best Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
The grapes for CARO come from the finest vineyards that represent the best terroirs of Mendoza, delivering the most authentic expressions of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. The best CARO vineyards are located in Luján de Cuyo and Maipú, which was the first place Malbec was planted in Mendoza. The wines coming from this area are recognized as some of among the best in the country. The altitude ranges from 800 to 950 meters.
Bodegas CARO Wines
The first wine of the tasting was “ARUMA”, which means the “night” in the language of the Quechua, the native Indians of the Mendoza region. They chose this name because it is the intense darkness of the nights in the Andes and the pure mountain air that give the wines the rich, authentic character of their terroir. ARUMA 2018 is unique because it is 100% Malbec from Mendoza. Aruma wine is a blend of the best terroirs of Mendoza.
There is no oak aging on this wine. ARUMA is a pure expression of the fruit. The palate is fresh and elegant, with a remarkable balance between tannins, acidity and alcohol. The freshness is what makes this wine unique. There is a nice minerality on the wine with notes of violet, blueberries, cherries and raspberries. This wine is best when drunk as it shows all the power of the fruit. The ideal food pairing is a juicy burger piled with blue cheese.
AMANCAYA, like its older brother, presents a harmonious balance between the Argentine and Bordeaux styles. The wine is more fruity due to its higher percentage of Malbec and shorter aging. The word AMANCAYA is the native Indian name of a flower found at high altitudes in the Andes in the Mendoza area.
This wine is another dimension of complexity compared to ARUMA. AMANCAYA 2017 has great finesse with notes of spice and mocha with fine tannins. It is a very elegant wine that is predominately Malbec with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon. This juicy and complex wine pairs delectably with lamb chops with herbs.
CARO is the big brother of the three wines and is extremely special because it is only produced in good vintages and made in a small production with only 3000-5000 cases. CARO has a strong Argentinian identity, characterized by the Malbec grape, which is given further elegance and complexity through blending with Cabernet Sauvignon. The combination produces a voluptuous, refined wine with a harmonious balance between the wine’s Argentinian identity and its Bordeaux style.
Philip recommends opening the CARO 2017 one hour before tasting. This wine needs time to open and patience rewards. It is an extraordinary wine and is one of the best coming from Argentina, with amazing potential to age. It is a wine that deserves to be paired with a succulent rib-eye.