The grapes to produce the Malbec “Mai” Mendoza Kaiken were hand picked into 15kg trays to preserve the quality of the berries throughout the process. The must was fermented in small tanks over a period of seven days at controlled temperatures of 25-30ºC. This was followed by post-fermentation maceration, which lasted approximately 20 days depending on the specific batch. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels, of which 70% was new, for 18 months prior to bottling.
The grapes used to make “Mai” are sourced from 100 year old vines at the estate vineyard in Vistalba (Luján de Cuyo), where the soil consists of an 80cm top layer of alluvial sandy-loam containing riverbed pebbles. The old vines are very low yielding, producing small quantities of highly concentrated fruit. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically.
Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. Montes, the Chilean winery, crossed the Andes in the same way to set up in Mendoza. Their vineyards are situated in the heart of Mendoza and further to the south in Valle de Uco, where many of the premium producers are now sourcing their fruit. The focus is primarily on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that has been somewhat forgotten as Malbec has surfed one wave of success after another in the past decade. Kaiken’s own vineyards supply 70% of their production requirements and 30% is from vineyards that they control.