Amancaya Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon
Amancaya is a joint venture between one of the foremost wine producers in Argentina, Nicolas Catena, and one of the most famous wine producers in the world, Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite), owners Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The Catena Rothschild joint venture came into being in 1998 with the idea of marrying not just Argentine and French wine-making and culture, but also the two most noble grapes from their respective regions – Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catena supply their knowledge of high altitude vineyards and the best terroirs for growing Malbec whilst the Rothschilds provide their expert knowledge learnt from decades of cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon and the art of blending grape varieties to create a wine that is so much more than the sum of its parts.
The first wine to be released by Bodegas Caro (CAtena and ROthschild) was the super-premium Caro itself, a Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend (approximately 70/30 depending on the vintage), aged for 18 months in 60% new oak barrels, production 5,000 to 7,000 cases per vintage. The international success of Caro soon saw the release of Amancaya and its younger, fruitier sibling Aruma.
Amancaya Gran Reserva Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon
Made at the Bodegas Caro in the heart of the Mendoza wine-growing region, Amancaya is a Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon blend which varies from 40% to 60% Malbec and 40% to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon depending on vintage. The grapes are sourced from vineyards from the wine-growing regions of Vistalba, La Consulta, Agrelo, Tupungato and Tunuyan – the vineyards are all at least 30 years old and are situated at altitudes of 800 to 1400 metres. After harvesting and vinification the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new.
Amancaya is a true expression of French and Argentinian collaboration, there is plenty of fruit and meatiness from the Malbec but the French oak and the Cabernet Sauvignon give the wine a somewhat firmer backbone than some other Argentinian wines. An Argentinian wine with a Bordeaux twist (a bit like the Chilean wine, Los Vascos, that Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite) also produce). You know that Lafite will not put their name to just any old wine venture and the Amancaya Malbec Cabernet is a very good red wine that it really punches above its weight.
“Once again, Lafite Rothschild’s ‘Amancaya’ goes beyond the stereotype of succulent Argentinian Malbec with its ripe mid palate framed by the structure and length of Cabernet Sauvignon.” Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, 2010.
Amancaya Tasting Notes (2010 vintage)
The 2010 Amancaya is a blend of 65% Malbec and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is dominated by dark fruit character (plums, dark cherries and blackberry) with some floral, violet notes and lifted red fruit (strawberry). The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and flavours of cassis, plums and spicy vanilla notes. The finish is smooth and silky with good length and purity. A very classy wine.
And why is it called Amancaya?
Amancaya is the name of the flower depicted on the label. It is found in the Mendoza wine-growing region and is used by native indian women to decorate their hair in the spring time.