Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. I paid $12.99 for this at that wine store I mentioned below. $13 is a fantastic price for this wine.
Chile's premier wine maker, Montes, crossed the Andes into Argentina to found and make this wonderful Cab. The name, "Kaiken", comes from the name of a wild goose that migrates across the Andes from Chile to Argentina and back. But the label will tell you that. What it wont tell you is that the bottle holds a jewel of a wine.
The aroma is complex, with plums, dark berries, oak and tar.
The palate has a small signature of green pepper but with raisins, and an absolutely delightful brightness that brings expression to the silky texture in the mouth.
The finish is smooth and lasting.
I do not know if it is the expertise of Montes that brings such character to this Argentinian wine or something in the soil there, but whatever it is, the results are fabulous. The color is dark and loamy in the glass but the mixture of scents and flavors is anything but heavy handed. It is forthright and robust without being overpowering.
The wine has a touch of laughter that, as mentioned above, makes it bright without slipping into fruity or "light". Make no mistake, this is a fat bastard of a wine (an English colloquialism for "big feel in the mouth"). And at the price, it is fit for drinking at dinner or with smelly cheese or enjoying with a pipe. It can hold it's own where flavors are bountiful.