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 Pinot Noir (70% of the assemblage here) and Chardonnay (30%) grapes are sourced from a vineyard situated at 1400 metres above sea level in the Gualtallary sub-region of the renowned Uco Valley. This is one of the highest zones in Mendoza and is famed for producing fresh yet balanced fruit, perfect for sparkling wine production.
The grapes were hand-picked into 10 kilogram boxes and only the healthiest grapes were hand-selected. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and the juice was then cold settled for 48 hours. Fermentation took place at a temperature of 10ºC to produce a high quality base wine. For the second fermentation, the wine was bottle-fermented for 30 days and left on the lees for a full two years to enhance its structure and complexity before disgorgement.
This wine is very bright in appearance, with a subtle golden hue and small, elegant bubbles in the glass. The nose offers aromas of green apple and pear alongside buttery notes, toast and a hint of almond. Refreshing with remarkable balance and vibrant acidity, it has a persistent finish. <Residual sugar is 9g/litre, so at the sweeter end of Brut>.
At this price, this represents fantastic value among traditional method sparkling wines.