James Suckling recently awarded Bodegas Caro 2012 98 points, a remarkable score for a wine that costs £21.60 per bottle, with it selling out in London, however we secured a parcel to offer to you today. Bodegas Caro is a joint venture between Nicolas Zapata and and Domaines Barons de Rothschild. This goes a long way to explaining how such an impressive wine has been created. The former is known as the leading winemaker in Argentina whose pioneering vision has elevated the region’s wines worldwide. The latter are no other than the owners of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Duhart Milon Rothschild. The name Caro is a contraction of Catena and Rothschild.

The synthesis of these two winemaking greats was first proposed in 1988 and became realised in 1993, debuting with the 1999/2000 harvest. The idea was to utilise Nicolas Zapata’s Argentine identity, characterised with Malbec, while adding the Rothschild elegance and expertise with Cabernet Sauvignon. The progeny is a wine that combines Argentinian distinctiveness with a Bordeaux style. In fact Neal Martin for one confirms the fusion as a success‘I admired the fact that there is an inescapable, tangible Old World tincture to these wines that lends them personality and breeding, perhaps a welcome antidote to the more hedonistic wines that flourish.’

Nicolas Catena is the world’s master of growing grapes in high altitude terroir, producing wines in Mendoza for three generations. Domaines Barons de Rothschild has centuries of excellence with the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, along with blending wines. The Caro winery is the heart of the project. The blend in 2012 is 75% Malbec and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Malbec deriving from old vines from Compuertas and the Cabernet Sauvignon from Altamira. This vintage was aged for 18 months in 60% new French oak, the kind of treatment the Grand Vin of Lafite Rothschild receives. The 2012 is their best effort yet, awarded 98 points for a wine under £22 is rare indeed – however, with only 3,000 cases made, there is little to go around.

Bodegas Caro (Rothschild) 2012, 6×75 – £129 IB or £169.56 incl duty and VAT
James Suckling – 98 Points
“Incredible aromas of spice, cedar, walnut and dark berry. Floral too. Spectacular nose. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a racy and refined finish. Fresh and succulent. Made from old vines of malbec in Compuertas and cabernet sauvignon from Altamira. Such finesse. Half the normal production. The best wine ever from the Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena winery. Drink or hold.”

‘Even though many consumers still look to Argentina for big and bold reds, the country’s top wine producers appear to be moving towards more refined wines overall that offer power yet finesse….2013 and 2012 look to be excellent vintages in all regions in Argentina”.

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