This is wine made by a stellar cast of very interesting people: the team behind ground-breaking Montes family, of the legendary Montes winery in Chile, and the chef who captured the hearts of the world in his edition of Chef's Table on Netflix, Francis Mallmann.
It is a brilliant project that has captured many a wine-lover's imagination - finest of food fanatics let loose in a high-quality local winery and produces something (at last) that you can afford to consume.
Like a Balenciaga line in Dunnes...
Taking a line from many other global references to Bordeaux, this is a blend of 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. Which is like a Bordeaux blend but with the blends done in reverse, because hey, we are in Argentina after all.
If you like the sound of a delicious Bordeaux-style red that is richer than most, made by a superstar chef, then this is the wine for you!
Grown in the best sites of the Kaiken estate, these grapes re taken from Lujan de Cuyo, Vistalba and Altamira, each site home to the family's best plantations of each variety.
What does Mallmann disobey here? Not much to be fair - it's more the reflection of his cooking, which is largely done without regard to Health and/or Safety as it's largely carried out over vast pits of seemingly uncontrollable flames. But it's very popular and the wine to match is utterly delicious, so we aren't complaining!
Kaiken is a really interesting winery; established by the Montes family (of the very famous Montes winery in Chile [possibly the benchmark Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon being Montes Alpha], which is actually just a stone's throw away over the Andes...), it is a winery that does things in a very considered if conservative manner, but that is no bad thing! Established in 2002, the winery was given one task by Aurelio Montes, which was to mirror the quality of winemaking that he had achieved on the other side of the Andes.
Set in Mendoza and with vines in the Uco Valley and specific plots in Lujan de Cuyo, the winery has access to the areas that have consistently produced the best fruit for decades.
It's not that this means it's necessarily better than anyone else's wines, it's simply to prove that the quality of fruit is as good as it could possibly be: the consultant winemaking of Mallmann is then overseen by the winery team and the alchemy is performed - pop - the results are in the deliciousness of the bottle in your hand. It appears to be simple... but there's nothing simple about doing the simple things well!
Oh and the label has a goldy-looking flattened v-shape. It's the profile of the Kaikenese geese from whom the winery takes its name - these indigenous geese fly high over the Andes to nest and are native to the south, in Patagonia. Can't help but think there might be easier spots to find shelter...
Style: Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Profound, Powerful, Organic, Juicy, Full, Fruity, Fleshy, Elegant, Dry, Dark, Complex, Broad
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Veal, Steak, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef, Barbecue