Kaiken Ultra

Mendoza, mendoza Argentina

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 the Uco Valley, 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.

Grapes for Kaiken’s traditional method sparkling wine are sourced from the renowned sub-region of Gualtallary in the Uco Valley. Here limestone rich soils and altitudes of around 1,400 metres above sea level provide optimal conditions for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Originally planting the variety in secret from his father, it was through experimentation that Aurelio Montes Junior discovered that the Uco Valley’s high-altitude vineyards were well suited to growing Cabernet Franc. Aurelio Junior has pioneered this variety in Argentina, and together with a handful of other winemakers, has highlighted the country’s potential to produce top quality Cabernet Franc. ‘Obertura’ displays an intense and complex nose, with fresh redcurrants, plums, and some spicy notes of pepper and clove.

Meaning ‘first’ in the Pehuenche dialect, Mai is Kaiken’s top wine, sourced from three estates located in Agrelo, Vistalba and the Uco Valley. This 100% Malbec is structured and powerful yet balanced. It is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, which lends the wine a complexity and roundness that carries through to the finish. The wine is ready to be enjoyed now but has the depth to age for the next decade.

Ultra

The Ultra wines are a step up from the Clásico and Terroir Series. The Chardonnay, 35% of which was fermented in barrel, is elegant with beautifully balanced acidity. The Cabernet Sauvignon, which has 5% of Malbec in the blend, is sourced from 50-year-old vines in Agrelo, Lunlunta and Pedriel, the heart of Mendoza. Red berry fruit intermingles with tobacco, vanilla and spicy notes that are typical of the variety. The Malbec, from high altitude vineyards in Vista Flores (at 1,400 metres), Gualtallary (at 1,300 metres) and Altamira (at 1,100 metres), is well-structured and aromatic. The Merlot, sourced from a single vineyard in Vistalba which is over 75 years old, has pronounced aromas of cassis and dark plum.

 

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