Kaiken 2002 Mendoza Malbec ($9.99)
Kaiken, a new label, is the first Argentine venture of Aurelio Montes, the respected wine maker of the Chilean Vina Montes, producers of the excellent Montes Alpha wines. The name "Kaiken" comes from the Patagonian native word for a wild goose that, appropriately, ranges on both sides of the Andes. It is is a very dark reddish-purple wine, with appetizing plums and blackberries on the nose and palate. The first taste is like biting into a ripe, sweet plum, with juicy but tart blackberries following after, adding a whiff of fennel and soft tannins as intriguing back notes on the finish in an exceptionally stylish Malbec. US Importer: T.G.I.C. Importers Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif. (Aug 8, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Red-meat burgers of any description work well with Malbec (and so does pizza). My choice for this dinner pairing, a Thai-accented lamb burger, made an excellent match.

WEB LINK: http://www.monteswines.com/

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