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Kaiken Ultra Mendoza Malbec

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza

Kaiken

Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina...

In the same way, Montes, the Chilean winery, crossed the Andes to set up in Mendoza.  Their vineyards are situated in the heart of Mendoza and further to the south in Valle de Uco, where many of the premium producers are now sourcing their fruit.  The focus is primarily on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that has been somewhat forgotten as Malbec has surfed one wave of success after another in the past decade.  As a result, there are many old vineyards in Mendoza that produce excellent fruit.

Kaiken‘s own vineyards supply 70% of their production requirements and 30% is from vineyards that they control.

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Vineyards

Grapes are sourced from both the Valle de Uco (Vistaflores, Altamira and Gualtallary) and the First Zone (Agrelo, Vistalba) regions of Mendoza. Here, soils are sandy loam, providing ideal conditions for growing Malbec. Plants are trained to the vertical shoot positioning system and yield an average of seven and a half tonnes per hectare.

Vintage information

Early frosts in the Mendoza wine region set a challenging 2011 vintage for winemakers. This, coupled with periods of high winds, hail, heavy rains and cooler temperatures delayed the onset of fruit maturation. However, an ‘Indian summer‘ in the immediate lead up to harvest ripened the grapes, resulting in elegant style wines with higher than average acidity. Temperatures over the harvest period fluctuated between 16 and 33°C, with harvest running from March to early May.

Vinification

Grapes were all hand harvested into small, 15kg bins and manually sorted before the winemaking process. Once picked, fruit underwent seven days of cold, pre-fermentation maceration at 10°C. Alcoholic fermentation lasted for 12 days at temperatures ranging between 25-28°C. Malolactic fermentation followed, for a total of 15 days. 80% of the finished wine was then transferred to French oak for 12 months of barrel aging.

Tasting Notes

Deep, ruby red in colour with violet hues. On the nose, it shows floral and mineral notes, with spicy complexities. The palate shows structure and power, with sweet plum, mocha and black cherry flavours dominating. Oak is well integrated and tannins are soft. Long and polished on the finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 96% Malbec
4% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Winemaker Aurelio Montes Baseden
Alcohol (ABV) 14.8%
Acidity 3.65g/l
Residual Sugar 3.2g/l
Wine pH 3.71