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.
The grapes are sourced from the prestigious Cafayate Valley of Salta. Here, cooler nights enable the grapes to retain their acidity and fine flavours. The vines are situated at an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level and have an average age of 80 years. Soils are rocky and sandy. These conditions enable the winemakers to achieve lower yields and more balanced grapes.
The temperatures recorded during the winter were lower than average, with heavy snow in July. The lower temperatures continued into September and October, which slowed down bud break. 2018 was the driest of the last four vintages. Temperatures increased, well above average, from February to April. The increase in the temperature increased the sugar levels and polyphenolic maturity, resulting in high concentration of aromas and flavours in the grapes.
Grapes were all hand harvested into small, 20kg bins and manually sorted before entering the winery. 15% of the grapes underwent pre-fermentation maceration for four hours at 8°C to extract the varietal aromatics of the Torrontés. Alcoholic fermentation followed in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for 20 days at cool temperatures between 12-16°C to retain primary fruit aromas. No oak was used at any point.
This Torrontés has a brilliant lemon-green colour with golden tones. The instensely aromatic nose is full of fresh peaches and orange peel, accompanied by the floral notes that are very characteristic of this variety. The fruity notes reappear on the fresh palate with balanced acidity. This is a fresh wine with a long finish.