The weather is getting hotter so this July 4th I'm focusing on two white wines from South America. Today I tasted a Montes Sauvignon Blanc and a Kaiken Torrontés with my good friend Kathleen in Santa Cruz. Aurelio Montes Sr, helped found Viña Montes wines with Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand in 1988 and in 2001 he formed Kaiken with his son Aurelio Montes Jr.
Across both labels are several vineyards located in both Chile and Argentina. Montes focuses on Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose of Syrah. While Kaiken focuses on Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rose of Malbec.
The 2016 Kaiken Torrontés was our favorite because of its white peach notes and the balance between its lushness and its acidity. The grapes for this wine come from Salta, Argentina which is located in the Lerma Valley. The 2017 Montes Sauvignon Blanc was also well balanced but a bit more acidic. It also had a lot of floral notes, which I enjoy in wine but recognize not everyone does. The grapes for this wine are from the Leyda Valley in Chile. Both were absolutely excellent with our picnic food which included chicken salad.
These wines were provided in exchange for a fair and balanced review.