Sunday, January 23, 2011


Kaiken was one of the wineries that we visited while we were touring Mendoza back last Fall. I had never heard of it before and likely would never have thought to stop there. The agency that coordinated our wine tours felt that it would be an interesting stop in that it showed yet another aspect of investment into the Argentine wine industry. This time, it was Chilean investors - and big name ones at that.

If we'd more than one day to visit wineries in Chile, Montes would definitely have been one of the producers that would have been on top of my wish list. We didn't get that opportunity, but, as chance would have it, Montes has crossed the Andes - much like the Patagonian goose that the new winery was named after. Kaiken is the resulting winery.

Due to the strict Canada Customs limits we faced in bringing back wine from our trip, we didn't buy any wine at Kaiken - much to our gracious host's chagrin. I note, however, from re-reading my earlier entry about touring Kaiken, that I said that "I'd definitely grab a bottle [of the Malbec] if I do see it at home." Funny that, but it didn't take long to run into some of their wines after all. Apparently, Kaiken wines have been in town for some time. I'd just never run across them before. I know that Montes has a firm footprint in the Vancouver wine scene; so, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that their Argentine operation would take a stab at our market as well.

712. 2008 Kaiken Malbec Reserva (Mendoza - Argentina)

Kaiken actually has two varietal Malbecs available - this Reserva and a premium label called Ultra. I'm pretty sure that it was the Ultra that we so enjoyed at the winery, but it was the Reserva that I've run across first in town.

While still under $20, the Kaiken is a bit more expensive than many of the entry level Argentine Malbecs that can be found in our market. The wine was big on fruit - which I'd expect, and quite enjoy - and there was an additional 5% Cab Sauv added to flesh out the profile. I think I'd like to do a bit of group tasting with some of the competitors though to try and figure out if there's enough difference to justify the extra pesos.

In the mean time, it was great to run into some product from one of the wineries we toured. I think it's always nice to have a sense of place to look back on while enjoying a wine. I'm sure we'll look back some more should I run across more of their wines.

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