Kaiken Aventura, `Aventura` Valle de Canota Malbec


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Kaiken Aventura, `Aventura` Valle de Canota Malbec

Bottle notes 

Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. In the same way, legendary Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes crossed the Andes to make wines in Mendoza. Aurelio saw the enormous potential of the region for premium viticulture and, after several exploratory trips, founded the Kaiken winery in 2002. His aim was simple: to make great wines in Mendoza and, in doing so, to show the best of both sides of the Andes.


The estate vineyards are situated in the heart of Mendoza and further south in the Uco Valley, where many premium producers are now sourcing their fruit. The focus is primarily on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that was almost forgotten in the region as Malbec’s popularity continued to soar over the past decade. As a result of Kaiken’s protection, there are now several old vine Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Mendoza that produce excellent wines, including Kaiken’s vineyard in the Vistalba district of Luján de Cuyo, first planted in 1910.


Grapes for Kaiken’s traditional method sparkling wine are sourced from the renowned sub-region of Gualtallary in the Uco Valley. Here limestone-rich soils and altitudes of around 1,400 metres above sea level provide optimal conditions for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


Originally planting the variety in secret from his father, it was through experimentation that Aurelio Montes Junior discovered that the Uco Valley’s high-altitude vineyards were well suited to growing Cabernet Franc. Aurelio Junior has pioneered this variety in Argentina and, together with a handful of other winemakers, has highlighted the country’s potential to produce top quality Cabernet Franc. ‘Obertura’ displays an intense and complex nose, with fresh redcurrants, plums, and some spicy notes of pepper and clove.

‘Disobedience’ by Francis Mallmann represents the long collaboration between the Argentinian chef and Kaiken. Known for his distinct style of open fire cooking, Mallmann has numerous restaurants around the world including a site at Kaiken. A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from Altamira and Vistalba, 30% of the wine is aged in first use French oak while the remainder is aged in used oak barrels to create a rounded, rich wine with expressive red fruit and sweet spice notes.


Meaning ‘first’ in the Pehuenche dialect, ‘Mai’ is Kaiken’s top wine. Sourced from 100-year-old vines in Vistalba, this 100% Malbec is structured and powerful yet balanced. It is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, which lends the wine a complexity and roundness that carries through to the finish. The wine is ready to be enjoyed now but has the intensity and structure to age for the next decade.


The Aventura range celebrates Kaiken’s ongoing exploration of new sub-regions in Mendoza. The series includes three different expressions of Malbec from two GI’s in Mendoza: Los Chacayes in the Uco Valley and Valle de Canota. Located in the heart of the Uco Valley, Los Chacayes was classified as a ‘GI’ in 2017. Kaiken planted vines at 1,250m, the highest part of this sub-region, between 2011 and 2016. Their vineyards sit north and south of the Arroya Grande riverbed on distinct soils; Los Chacayes ‘Norte’ lies on alluvial soils which impart a saline character to the finished wine, whereas the free-draining soils of Los Chacayes ‘Sur’ force the vines to penetrate deep into the soil and produce a wine with deep fruit concentration. Situated 22 miles from Mendoza city, surrounded by the Andean foothills, the Canota Valley was classified as a ‘GI’ in 2019. It has very low annual rainfall and is climatically regarded as an Andean desert. Although Kaiken planted here in 2015, this sub-region remains largely unexplored. All three wines in the range are fermented and aged in concrete tanks for 12 months with a further six months in bottle to preserve the character of each individual site.



The Kaiken Aventura range celebrates Kaiken's ongoing exploration of new sub-regions and their regional differences within Mendoza. Located 22 miles from Mendoza city and surrounded by the Andean foothills, the Canota Valley was classified as a GI in 2019 (a 'Geographical Indication' signifys an area of particular quality). Although Kaiken planted vineyards in 2015, it is still largely unexplored with only a few producers operating in the Valley. It has very low annual rainfall and climatically is regarded as an Andean desert. The soil here retains moisture, thereby enabling viticulture. Harvest generally starts one month before the Uco Valley, which highlights the difference in climate between these sub-regions.



The summer of 2019 was mostly warm; the hot days were tempered by brief cold spells and cool nights which helped to maintain acidity. The harvest season was dry and resulted in perfectly healthy grapes. Overall the vintage produced relatively average yields and wines with refreshing acidity and elegant fruit concentration.



The grapes were harvested by hand at the end of March and then sorted manually at the winery. The grapes underwent pre-fermentation maceration for four days at 10ºC before fermentation for seven days at 24ºC in concrete tanks using selected and indigenous yeasts. Post-fermentation maceration lasted 20 days before the wine was transferred to and matured in separate concrete tanks for 12 months, then a further six months in bottle before release.

Tasting Notes


This Malbec has an alluring character of precise red and black cherry fruit, lifted by fresh 

acidity with fine-grained, velvety tannins.


Silver Medal: Decanter World Wine Awards 2021



Country: Argentina

Region: Mendoza

Grape: 100 % Malbec

Closure: Stelvin Lux

Volume: 75cl

Certification: Vegan, Vegetarian, Sustainable

Alcohol: 14.5%

Acidity: 5.37 g/l

Residual Sugar: 2.6 g/l

pH: 3.7

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