Malbecs are an interesting varietal, growing in popularity here in the US. It was time, I thought, to experience more of these great wines. Costco, once again, impresses with decent wine selection at good prices. You can usually be sure that their prices will be typically $1-2 less than other stores, sometimes more.

So with guests arriving, I decided to try some Malbecs as a change-up to our tried and true Napa cabs that so often find there way into our decanter.

Malbec is to Argentina as Shiraz is to Australia. In this case, the 2006 Kaiken Malbec is from the Mendoza region of Argentina which is producing some consistently good wines.

Kaiken_2This Kaiken has nice plum and strong cherry on the front. The finish is mild. Throughout it’s smooth, and never overbearing.

Comparing the Malbec to a Shiraz I’d say the Malbec presents less
tannins, and is easier to drink.

Comparing the Malbec to a Shiraz I’d say the Malbec presents less
tannins, and is easier to drink. Perhaps it wouldn’t pair as well with
BBQ or spicy foods as a Shiraz, but I definitely enjoyed this one on
it’s own. Our guests also gave it a thumbs up.

An interesting note on the significance of the stylized logo on the label: it is a reference to the Aconcagua mountain range in the Andes, with the middle as the peak and Argentina to the right and Chile to the left. The Kaiken web site refers to them as “the tallest mountain in the world, second in height only to the Himalayas”. A quick fact check on Wikipedia reveals, of course, that Mt. Everest is still tallest (and a tough climb, check out my take here “In Review – Into Thin Air: Jon Krakauer’s Everest Ascent, Blind Ambition and Gripping First Hand Account of a Survivor“), with the Aconcagua being tallest of the Americas. So close… let’s call that ambitious, pride-based marketing.

As Malbecs go, this is right on the mark, and definitely makes it onto our repeat buy list. Take a look at your local Costco, for $8.99 you can’t go wrong.



2006 Kaiken Malbec Argentina
Kaiken Wines, Mendoza, Argentina
Malbec, Alc. 14.5%
$8.99 (try Costco)

Clint says: A nice, smooth Malbec at a great price. Enjoy on its own.

Rating: 88 out of 100 (recommended)

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear