Bodegas Caro, Mendoza (Argentina) “CARO” 2016

($60, Taub Family Selections):  It should come as no surprise that a collaboration, now about two decades old, between two of the greatest names in wine should produce a fabulous wine. Bodegas Caro is a joint effort of Domaines Barons de (Lafite) Rothschild and Nicolas Catena, one of Argentina’s leading wine producers.  Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (83%) and Malbec, CARO is the winery’s flagship.  As a curiosity, Malbec, Argentina’s signature red grape, had been planted at Lafite in the past, but did not thrive and was replaced with Merlot, according to Cyril Ray’s, Lafite: The Story of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild  [Christie’s Wine Publications].   It’s a stunning wine, powerful yet graceful.  The initial impact is plummy fruit-driven flavors, perhaps the Malbec speaking.  Fortunately, within 30 minutes, the palate is flooded as all the notes pitch in making a glorious fruity/savory mix, which continues to change and evolve as it sits in the glass.  A delightfully bitter finish reminds you this is not a fruit-bomb, but serious stuff.  Its modest 13.5 percent stated alcohol is also a powerful argument that you don’t need super ripe grapes to produced grand wine.  Beautifully textured — after all, Lafite is involved — making it easy to enjoy now.  However, the way it blossomed in the glass suggests to me that you will be amply rewarded by cellaring for a few years.
95 Michael Apstein Apr 14, 2020