Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: **** $$ Kaiken Ultra Malbec, 2005, Mendoza, Argentina - BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Kaiken Ultra Malbec.
This Argentina malbec is brought to market by the Montes S.A. folks, same ones who built the Chile-based Montes Alpha Syrah, which I tried and liked a great deal.

Original review, January, 2008:

In the glass, the Kaiken Ultra Malbec is medium dark red, moving to ruby/purple at the edges.

Aromas are meaty and oaky, more reminiscent of a Napa cabernet than an Argentinian malbec. Interesting.

On the palate, the first sensation is of furry, supple, deep fruit in the mid-palate, complete with lightly charred black cherries. Nice, lingering finish brought along by the tannins with a complete absence of sharp acids. Very drinkable now. Capable of age too. I'd stay with it for an evening. Four stars out of five. Interesting - that's slightly higher than I rated the Montes Alpha Syrah, another excellent value wine.

Robert Parker gave the 2006 version of the Kaiken Ultra Malbec 91 points, but I don't see that he rated the 2005. I'm not generally a huge fan of Wine Enthusiast ratings, nonetheless, they gave this 91 points, saying, "Since coming onto the scene with the 2002 vintage, this Chilean-run venture (Montes S.A.) has hit the right notes time after time. The 2005 Ultra is exactly as we’ve come to expect: It’s saturated, dark, meaty and ripe, with huge blackberry flavors and lavish creamy oak. Very modern, but done in the right way."

Updated review, almost four years later,  December, 2011:  Color is consistent, with a hint of brick showing at the edge.  Funky and deep fruit on the nose, a hint of broccoli sneaking in.  Stunning sweet, deeply fruited, old world perfumed palate, fully ready to drink at this point.  The slight vegetative element in the nose is gone on the palate, creating a clean, balanced, intense sip.  This really held up to the six years since vintage date. 

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Kaiken Ultra Malbec.

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