2012 Kaiken Terroir Series Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Kaiken Terroir Series Cabernet Sauvignon

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A past Wine Access story about 2012 Kaiken Terroir Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Setting A High Bar in Mendoza: Aurelio Montes’ 93-point Cabernet Sauvignon


Even as so many critics have hopped on the Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon bandwagon, for the most part, we’ve stayed on sidelines. How come? While dark and ultra-concentrated, all too many Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignons lack the structure we look for in Cabernet. Maybe we’ve set the bar too high. If you were weaned on Pauillac and Margaux, all but a few of Mendoza’s Cabernet Sauvignons pale in comparison.

The 2012 Kaiken is one of the few.

Aurelio Montes, Jr., is the son of acclaimed Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes, Sr. In 2001, the Montes family purchased two small vineyards outside of Mendoza. After years of experimentation, the family recognized the potential for Cabernet Sauvignon in the Agrelo district of Luján de Cuyo and purchased a magnificent 70-hectare property perched at 3,100 feet in elevation. Several varieties were planted to tight spacing — 5,000 vines per hectare — including broad-shouldered Cabernet Sauvignon and muscular Petit Verdot. Seven years later, when Nature treated Agrelo to one of its more sensational growing seasons, Aurelio — who by this time had relocated his family to Mendoza — crafted the Cabernet Sauvignon of his young career.

If you’re enamored of ripe vintages in the Médoc, like 2009, but less enthusiastic about Bordelais pricing, the 2012 Kaiken Terroir Series Cabernet Sauvignon is a bargain-hunter’s dream come true. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 8% Petit Verdot. Dark purple color. Voluptuous aromatically, featuring a chalky mix of blackberry, black cherry, dark plum, and chocolate. Rich, dense, and pliant on the attack, with broad Cabernet Sauvignon shoulders, filled with crushed-black-fruit preserves, finishing with sturdy Petit Verdot backbone. Drink now-2020.

93 points from James Suckling. $15/bottle. The last 1,200 bottles of our 2012 allocation are now up for grabs. Shipping included on 6.

Expert Ratings and Reviews

87 Points Vinous Media

Customer Ratings

Based on 194 ratings

This wine is truly exceptional. After first purchasing 4 bottles I came back and bought a case. This wine is great now, smooth, complex and without tannins yet rich on the pallette. Highly recommended

By far the best of the four wines I ordered, the only one I'd buy again.

This wine is full bodied and has a great balance between fruit and tannins. It tastes better than many wines i have bought at 3 times the price. I served it at a partynext to $30 to $70 bottles and people were blown away when i told them it was less than$20 a bottle.

What a wonderful surprise this was! A steal. And great balance between dry and fruity.

Very elegant blend, nicely done, well balanced, should age well for several years If this was a Napa wine it would be over 100$

just as advertised...big, bold, but sophisticated.

definite 4 stars!! so rich, and balanced what a great buy

What a great value this is. Blows Napa Cab away at twice the price. Some tobacco notes combined with lush dark berry flavors and amazing concentration.

Really good--a nice cabernet

Very good wine for a great price. Smooth tannins with cocoa and blackberry. Smmoth long finish. I bought two more cases.

Full bodied and very fruit-forward out of the bottle. Benefits considerably from some breathing time. Overall, a very nice wine at this price point.

The wine had a unique finish. Would order it again.


A nice Sunday meal wine. Price reflects excellent vs.ue

My uneducated tongue only tasted oak - and lots of it. It just blew everything else out and made this one of my least favorite wines in quite some time

This wine should be avoided. After your email we opened our first bottle. It has no character and for a blend of 80% cabernet and Malbec and petit verdot there is no identification with those grapes. It has a flat, unidentifiable taste. Just tasteless. I have never had a poor South American wine from Wine Access--Casarena,Antucura.Synergy ---all top notch. Not this wine. Never again.

Not tasted

Powerful berry, leafmold, wood aroma, v. heavy, sweet tannins, better 2nd day after opening.

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