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CARO Amancaya 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
  • JS91
  • RP90
14.8% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • JS93
  • WE92
  • RP90
  • JS90
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP89
  • WE89
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • W&S92
  • RP91
  • WE90
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  • W&S90
  • WE92
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4.5 2 Ratings
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4.5 2 Ratings
14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep crimson color. The nose presents aromas of red and black fruit, with redcurrants and plums, and a little mint and cedar. The bouquet fills out with notes of vanilla, spices and mocha from the French oak. On the palate, the tannic texture is pleasant and well balanced. The tannins are refined and gentle. There is a pleasant sensation of softness in the mouth.

Grape Varieties: 65% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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JS 91
James Suckling
A delicate blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon that shows currants and citrus character. Medium to full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a crisp and clean finish. Delicious fruit, acid balance. Drink or hold.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Amancaya is a Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon blend labeled as Gran Reserva. It is a red that shows a classic profile, good integration of both grapes with notes of vanilla and cinnamon over the core of berry and tobacco leaf aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, nicely-balanced and has fine, abundant tannins. An elegant blend in the making.
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CARO

Bodegas Caro

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Bodegas Caro, Mendoza, Argentina
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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. 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 wine: CARO. Two noble grapes, two families, one dear and elegant wine.

The idea of forming a partnership between Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family was born in 1999. 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.

The Catena family has produced wine for three generations. Consequently, it was able to draw on its vast knowledge of the high altitude terroirs of the Mendoza region as well as its passion for Malbec to find the best vineyards. DBR (Lafite) contributed its centuries-old skills in growing, vinifying and ageing great Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as its know-how in blending different grape varieties to produce one wine that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The vineyard locations for the Cabernet Sauvignon are 40% from a 20-year-old vineyard in Agrelo, a region 3,117 feet in elevation, and 10% from 30-year old vines in El Cepillo la Consulta, with an elevation of 3,773 feet. The vineyard locations for Malbec are 10% from a 12 year old vineyard in Tupungato at 4,593 feet elevation and also 40% from a 53-year-old vineyard in Vistalba, at 3,609 feet elevation. Throughout the season we monitor the vineyard technique, irrigation management and bud thinning to ensure low yields in balance with the canopy, good ventilation and illumination.

Fernando Buscema is a passionate winemaker and researcher. He is a fifth-generation winemaker and was born in the heart of Mendoza, one of the world’s most well-known winemaking regions. After graduating with honors at Don Bosco School of Enology, Fernando joined the Catena Zapata family in 2005. In 2007, after showing a clear devotion for quality and attention to detail, he became Research & Development Director.

Fernando has vast international winemaking experience and has worked in several wineries in Italy and California. In 2012, Buscema earned a master’s degree from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the prestigious University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis, Buscema worked and lectured with famous professor Dr. Roger Boulton. Particularly, Fernando was engaged in groundbreaking research regarding growing Malbec in various geographic areas in Argentina and the United States.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SOU375458_2012 Item# 139178