Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. Montes, the Chilean winery, crossed the Andes in the same way 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. Kaiken's own vineyards supply 70% of their production requirements and 30% is from vineyards that they control.
The grapes come from vineyards in the Agrelo zone, 60 kilometres from the city of Mendoza and at an altitude of 950 metres above sea level. These vineyards feature soils composed of silt, clay and sand with stones at two metres derived from erosion from the Andes Mountains. The region’s climate is warmer than that of the Uco Valley, which allows Kaiken to obtain grapes with more fresh fruit aromas and flavours as well as very ripe, soft tannins.
The 2017 vintage in Mendoza was generally warm and dry. Cooler temperatures before harvest meant wines were slightly lower in alcohol, but had well preserved acidity. 2017 is considered one of the best vintages in recent years in Mendoza.
The grapes were hand-picked and sorted, and then cold soaked for seven days to extract aroma and colour. After that, the grapes were fermented for 10 to 12 days, and then kept on their skins for 10 days to give colour and structure. Following fermentation, 40% of the wine was transferred into French oak barrels for six months, of which 10% were new and the rest second and third use. The wine was naturally fined and gently filtered before bottling.
This Malbec is deep purple in colour. Dried fruit aromas of strawberries and cherries are nicely complemented with spicy notes and menthol aromas. On the palate, this wine displays extraordinary balance, freshness and soft tannins.