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Kaiken Mai

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 three vineyards: 20% from the Agrelo Estate, 40% from the Vistalba Estate and 40% from the Uco Valley. 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 five tonnes per hectare.

Vintage information

Following the coldest winter in two generations, with seven recorded snowfalls in Mendoza, budbreak was delayed by up to two weeks. Fruit set was slightly lower than normal. February saw steady rainfalls for a nearly two-week period, leading to excessive moisture in the vineyards. The latter half of the season turned dry and windy, but stayed cool, allowing vineyards to absorb any excess moisture while ripening slowly. March and April were dry and sunny with very cold nights. A long harvest took place from March through to May.

Vinification

Grapes were all hand harvested into small, 15kg bins and manually sorted before the winemaking process. Once picked, fruit underwent ten days of cold, pre-fermentation maceration at 8°C. Alcoholic fermentation lasted for 10-12 days at temperatures ranging between 25-28°C. Malolactic fermentation followed, for 10-15 days. The finished wine was then completely transferred to French oak barrels for 18 months before soft filtering and bottling.

Tasting Notes

This attractive Malbec surprises with its intensity and vibrant purple colour.  On the nose it has clear mineral and spicy notes due to the altitude of the vineyards, combined with aromas of black fruits, mature cherry, hints of vanilla and coffee. An elegant, powerful wine with great structure, roundness and persistence. Can be enjoyed now or kept for at least 15 years.

Vintage information

Vintage 2008
Grape varieties 100% Malbec
Region Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Winemaker Aurelio Montes Baseden
Alcohol (ABV) 15%
Acidity 5.14g/l
Residual Sugar 3.17g/l
Wine pH 3.7