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Kaiken Ultra, Mendoza Chardonnay 2019

An exceptional Chardonnay which perfectly balances fresh peach and pineapple flavours, with rich, supple and subtly creamy oak.
Aromatic
£13.95
More Information
Producer Kaiken
Country Argentina
Region Mendoza
Wine Type White Wine
Body / Style Aromatic
Grape Blend 100% Chardonnay
Bottle Size (ml) 750
% Abv 14
Vintage 2019
Special Features Vegan
Extra Info Fresh, balanced, rich
Food Pairing Guide Try with some creamy chicken, or mussels in garlic sauce soaked up with some crusty French bread.
Terroir Sandy loam

Kaiken Ultra Chardonnay is produced in the renowned Altamira sub-region in the Uco Valley, where high altitude, ample sunshine and a high diurnal range provide optimal conditions for growing Chardonnay. It has a lovely golden colour, and the aromas are extremely inviting, with tropical notes of pineapple, as well as white peach and citrus. The oak ageing gives it a buttery quality, as well as a touch of vanilla. As the name suggests, the palate is rich and complex with a lovely, creamy texture yet always remains fresh and dry. This is a really excellent Chardonnay which strikes a difficult balance where all too many Chardonnays fall short: fresh, dry and elegant, gently layered with that rich, toasty oak, and never smothered.

The temperatures recorded during the winter were lower than average, with heavy snow in July. The lower temperatures continued into September and October, which delayed bud break. 2018 was the driest of the last four vintages. Temperatures increased, well above average, from February to April. The increase in the temperature accelarated ripening after a cool start to the season, resulting in high concentration of aromas and flavours in the grapes.

Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. In the same way, Montes, the Chilean winery, crossed the Andes 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. As a result, there are many old vineyards in Mendoza that produce excellent fruit. Kaiken's own vineyards supply 70% of their production requirements and 30% is from vineyards that they control.

The grapes are sourced from two different areas in Mendoza. 90% of the grapes come from Altamira in the Uco Valley, which provides freshness and minerality, and 10% from Vistalba in Lujan de Cuyo, which gives concentration to the blend. Soils are sandy loam, providing ideal conditions for growing Chardonnay. Plants are trained to the vertical shoot positioning system and yield an average of six tonnes per hectare. Grapes were hand harvested into small, 10-kilogram boxes and sorted manually. Alcoholic fermentation lasted for 20 to 30 days at temperatures ranging between 10-13°C. 65% of the juice was fermented in small stainless-steel tanks to preserve freshness and purity of the fruit. The rest of the juice was fermented in new French oak barrels, where it remained for 12 months.
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