Kaiken 2011 Malbec Reserva

January 28, 2015 § 3 Comments

Price: $19.99IMG_0722

As much as I enjoyed this wine, I almost didn’t review it as I had trouble finding retailers whose price was below $20. I’m sure there are many out there, however the only one that with which I could confirm stock and a sub $20 price was the 16th Street Liquor Store in West Vancouver.

For a wine lover I really enjoyed this wine, but the question is does the quality of the wine justify the price or is it a great deal. The answer is that this wine is worth every penny at $20. Is it priced below its value, inconclusive.

Tasting Notes Sipping: You immediately know you are dealing with a serious wine by the colour; it is dark purple, almost black. The nose shows dark, masculine fruits and spice and gives you the impression that this wine is not to be trifled with. This isn’t your whimsical little happy wine, there is some Johnny Depp like angst in this wine. The palate is big, bold and richly textured. I tasted this over three days and it didn’t lose a step at all. The fruit flavours are intense black plum and black, ripe cherry that are married with earthy, leathery, sultry tones. The finish is long and languid, showing structure, spice and fruit.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had a plan when I got this bottle. My plan was to justify a big thick steak and it worked. Simply prepared, thrown on the grill with some salt and pepper and accompanied with a simple spinach salad and good hearty bread. It was a great match. It seemed like the wine on its own was restrained, it was holding something back, but with the steak the genie in the bottle was released. The fruit flavours showed bright intensity. The texture showed its sensitive side and became a loving, velvety caress. For $20 with a steak (total ~$30) this wine over delivered.

Value: The Kaiken was worth every penny when served with the steak. If a steak is part of your dinner plans, treat yourself, value yourself, and get this bottle. On the other hand if you are looking for something to sip while watching TV or having an everyday meal, then save yourself a few bucks and get either Alamos Malbec if you want Malbec, or the Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cab.

Added Value: This wine really shines when the BBQ is a light. You can almost hear it struggling to get into your glass.

More To The Story: Kaiken is the Argentinean property of the Montes family of Chile. After decades of making incredible wines in Chile (if you ever find yourself with a spare $70 burning a hole in your pocket, get a bottle of Purple Angel. I promise that you will absolutely love it!). The family opened their wings and flew over the Andes and picked up the property that is now Kaiken. You would think that all the experience of making wine in Chile would totally influence how Kaiken is grown and made, however in a bit of a reversal, Kaiken forever changed how Montes is grown and made.

A majority of the best vineyard sites in Argentina are at elevation or on the mountainsides. Until the 90’s most vineyards in Chile were in the valley’s. The quality of the wines coming out of Kaiken was like a light bulb going off. Pioneering wineries like Montes soon started planting hillside vineyards to great success.

A Kaiken is a wild goose that flies over the Andes between Chile and Argentina. This wine is very appropriately named as it’s spirit is in one heart but on both sides of the mountains.

Score: 7.4  – Good Drop

Service: Pull the cork and let breathe for 45 min to an hour. Alternatively run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a few times. As I mentioned above this wine held its own and even improved the longer it was open. Serve at room temperature.

Grapes: Malbec

Store Section: Argentina

Appellation: Mendoza

Available: 16th Street Liquor Store, Guildford Station Liquor Store (not sure of price), The Strath Ale (not sure of price), Wine & Spirits (not sure of price), Everything Wine Victoria (not sure of price)

Buy Online: 16th Street Liquor Store

Alcohol: 14.5%

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