Kaiken Ultra Las Rocas Malbec 2012
The Kaiken Winery was built in 1920 by Italo Calise. In those early days, the winery also made olive oil, distilled beverages, and tartaric acid. Today, the winery has the capacity to make 7 million liters of wine. Fermentation takes place in 12,000-30,000 liter tanks, which are ideal for small batches of superior quality wine.
The Caiquen is a wild goose from Patagonia that flies across The Andes between Argentina and Chile. By embarking on this cross-border flight the Caiquen takes up a major challenge. Just like the Caiquen, Aurelio Montes, founder of the Chilean winery Bodega Montes, made several trips across the Andes until, in 2000 he rediscovered Mendoza as a generous land filled with superb vines and hardworking people. In 2001, he realized Mendoza was the perfect place to make Kaiken Wines, wines that embody everything a great wine ought to be.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.