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 are sourced from Valle de Uco, one of Mendoza’s most prestigious sub-regions. Kaiken’s vineyard, located in Vista Flores, sits at 1,350 metres above sea level. Here, sunny days are followed by cool nights – this slows the growing season and allows Kaiken to obtain excellent grapes with wonderful freshness. The soils are mostly alluvial and are largely made up of pebbles and rocks.
The 2014 harvest followed an ordinary spring with normal rainfall and regular temperatures. Early-summer temperatures were very high, with heavy rainfall. March and April were marked by high humidity, low temperatures, and many cloudy days. For the black varieties, these conditions yielded spicy and floral aromas.
Grapes are hand-picked into 10kg-trays to preserve berry quality. In the winery, grapes are sorted manually. Pre-fermentation maceration takes place at 5ºC for 5-7 days. This is followed by alcoholic fermentation over 7 days, at 25ºC and 30ºC. Then there is a 14-day long post-fermentation maceration. The wine is decanted into French oak barrels to mature for 12 months. These barrels are third-use and allow the retention of fruity, elegant aromas throughout maturation.
Deep ruby red in colour with elegant purple shades. The nose is complex, with ripe redcurrants, fresh plums and red pepper combined with spicy notes of black pepper. On the palate, it has beautiful fruit concentration balanced by fresh acidity and minerality, reflecting the high-altitude location of Vista Flores. The long, elegant finish displays red fruit and spicy aromas.