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.
All of the fruit used for the Cabernet Sauvignon Ultra was sourced from the Vistalba vineyard. This fine 80-year-old vineyard gives wines of outstanding elegance, structure, and power. The vines are grown 1,050 metres above sea level and 800 metres away from the Mendoza River. Half a metre of alluvial soil on top of gravel from the river yields concentrated high-quality fruit.
A rain and hail-affected vintage made for unusually challenging conditions. It was also one of the coolest vintages on record, which had the surprising advantage of restricting the spread of rot and resulted in atypically modest alcohol levels.
The fruit was hand-picked in April into 15kg trays to preserve the berries, which were then sorted manually in the winery. The must was fermented in small tanks under optimum conditions preserving vineyard character. After one month's fermentation (including maceration), the wine was transferred into French oak barrels (one third new and two thirds second and third-use). The wine was aged in barrel for 12 months, and lightly filtered before bottling. The wine was left to age in bottle for just over a year.
Deep ruby red in colour, this wine is elegant and complex, showing hints of ripe black cherries, prunes, strawberries, tobacco and spices accompanied by vanilla notes. It is a dense, mouth filling wine with plum, redcurrant and mocha flavours on the palate. The wine has good structure with ripe, opulent tannins.