2016 'Mai The First' Mendoza Malbec
Argentina: Mendoza: Luján de Cuyo
Unleash the Kaiken!!
Collectors take notice - This checks all the boxes. A whopping 97 POINTS (and a respectable 95 from Wine Enthusiast), a long history of glowing press, super talented winemaker, and just tasting like a total, complete stunner from front to back and side to side. And our world’s best price - 51% OFF - will not be seen again, maybe EVER.
Not your ordinary Malbec, this is powered by 125+-year-old vines, raised in 70% new French Oak, and assembled by the master himself, Aurelio Montes. It’s straight-up sultry stuff. Aurelio has a long history of making some incredible, high-scoring, age-worthy “Wine of the Night” type gems and this is no exception. Deep violet in the glass, it boasts Big Gulp sized servings of jammy blueberry and blackberry, black licorice, violets, sweet pipe tobacco, vanilla, and spicy white pepper. Brisk acidity keeps things moving along and makes it a food-friendly wine (chimichurri steak anyone?). DEEP, lush, and expressive, it commands your attention from the first sip.
Montes is the sister winery behind Kaiken, a South American beacon since the 1980s, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate acknowledging “a well-earned reputation as one of Chile’s foremost vignerons.”
Wine Spectator adds “In winemaking, Montes aims for an easy-drinking and approachable style, without harsh tannins. And he is an unabashed Francophile. ‘We were trained in university to love Bordeaux,’ he says. ‘If you want to sum up my approach in one word, it is elegance.’ Still, Montes doesn’t shy away from more concentrated fruit flavors. ‘I like Napa, with its ripe and massive wines. You can drink them from the beginning with pleasure.’”
James Suckling raves on: “Founded by Chilean wine maestro Aurelio Montes in 2002, Kaiken is known for its big, juicy Malbecs… Interestingly, Kaiken is named after a wild goose that flies between southern Argentina and Chile because Montes used to fly across the Andes frequently. As an expert winemaker and founding partner of Viña Montes in Chile, Montes and his team in Argentina have been persistent with their close supervision over the low-yielding vineyards in Mendoza. Coupled with the region’s unique terroirs, Kaiken has been consistently making excellent, fruit-forward wines that maintain their freshness and drinkability.”
But there is a catch: Not much of this one to go around, so if you’re reading this move quickly. Happy Saturday!
97 Points – James Suckling
“This is a really fine and polished malbec with crushed stones and blackberries. Full-bodied, yet reserved and beautiful. Seamless tannins and drive. It goes on for minutes. One of the best ever from here. Drinkable now, but will reward the patient. Try after 2023.”
95 Points, Editors’ Choice – Wine Enthusiast
“Bold black-fruit aromas are slightly reduced and tarry at first, but with airing alluring herbal notes and complexity take over. While this is fully ripe and full in body and color, it’s lively in feel. Toasty, almost charred oak goes toe to toe with deep black-fruit flavors. All of this is backed by a smoky, chocolaty finish. A huge success for a 2016, a year marred by rain. Drink through 2030.”
Impenetrable opaque as a moonless night at heart, turning deep violet towards a neon purple glowing rim
Boasts Big Gulp sized servings of jammy blueberry and blackberry, black licorice, violets, sweet pipe tobacco, vanilla, and spicy white pepper
Brisk acidity keeps things moving along, DEEP, lush, and expressive, it commands your attention from the first sip
Straight-up sultry stuff, long as can be
A food-friendly wine - chimichurri steak anyone?
What the Winery Says
- Founder/chief winemaker
- Aurelio Montes
- Gustavo Hörmann
- 100% Malbec
- Luján de Cuyo, Vistalba, Mendoza
- Total acidity
- 3.8 g/l
- Residual sugar
- 2.1 g/l
- Free SO2
- 30 ppm
- 18 months
- 70% new French oak