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Kaiken Ultra Mendoza Chardonnay

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 Chardonnay. Plants are trained to the vertical shoot positioning system and yield an average of seven and a half tonnes per hectare.

Vintage information

2012 saw an excellent vintage for producers in the Valle de Uco region of Mendoza. Although warm temperatures in the early weeks of January caused some dehydration and affected flowering, there was an absence of frost throughout the entire period. Yields were reduced, but this also acted to concentrate the aromas and flavours in the grapes. Cooler temperature trends in March and April allowed the grapes to complete ripening in ideal conditions. The resulting fruit was fresh and balanced, retaining higher levels of natural acidity than in previous vintages.

Vinification

Grapes were all hand harvested into small, 15kg bins and manually sorted before the winemaking process. Once picked, a third of the fruit underwent pre-fermentative maceration for six hours at 8°C. Alcoholic fermentation lasted for 25 days at temperatures ranging between 10-13°C. 35% of the finished wine was then transferred to French oak for barrel ageing.

Tasting Notes

Golden in colour with slight hints of green. On the nose this wine shows ripe, tropical fruits and apricot with hints of vanilla from French oak barrel ageing. The palate is complex and elegant, with fresh acid and a long finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Winemaker Aurelio Montes Baseden
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%
Acidity 3.82g/l
Residual Sugar 1.8g/l
Wine pH 3.4