• Domaine: Seña (Viña Errázuriz)
• A.O.C.: Aconcagua Valley, Chile
• Classification: Wine of Chile
• Varietals: 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Carmenere,12% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
The beginning of Seña traces back to Eduardo Chadwick's trips to Napa in the 1990s, where he met Robert Mondavi. Eduardo Chadwick's family owns Viña Errázuriz. Mondavi visited Chile in 1993 and Eduardo was the one to drive him around. Mondavi was delighted with the potential he saw, but there was really no quality wine to show the world the potential of Chile. As a result, Seña was established as a collaborative venture between Viña Errázuriz and Robert Mondavi. Its mission was to make a Bordeaux style blend including Carmenere to give it a Chilean character. In 2005, Eduardo Chadwick bought Mondavi’s 50 percent, and since then it has been a Chadwick family winery, and a personal project of Eduardo Chadwick. The vineyards have been worked biodynamically since 2005. Eduardo's ambition is to create a Chilean icon wine, one which fully expresses the terroir (wine identity linked to local soil, aspect and climate) of the Aconcagua Valley, north of Santiago. The wine world has recognized his success. In 2004, in a blind tasting event hosted in Berlin that has since become known as the Berlin Tasting, Seña 2001 came in 2nd to its brethren wine Viñedo Chadwick 2000 (which was ranked 1st), forcing the venerable Château Lafite Rothschild 2000 to the 3rd position. Here is the official scorecard:
Sena’s hillside vineyard is on the cooler side of the Aconcagua valley (the limit to ripen Cabernet and Carmenere), extending over 45 hectares planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah. The colluvial soils on the valley’s slopes contain a variety of textures and stone proportions, resulting in a great diversity of well-drained gravel, rock and loam. The backbone of the wine is Cabernet Carmenere, complemented with the other grapes.
“Deep violet-ruby-red in colour. Seña 2009 is complex and intense on the nose, with abundant fresh red fruit that recalls raspberries and cherries harmoniously mingled with notes of cinnamon and red tobacco, along with a light touch of incense and cedar. The palate confirms what the nose perceived and shows a predominance of red fruit nicely accompanied by sweet spices, a balsamic touch, and flavours that recall hazelnuts and walnuts. Vibrantly textured with fine-grained tannins lend liveliness and structure to the blend in a wine that is long and very elegant. With refreshing acidity, all signs point to a wine with tremendous longevity in the bottle.”
"The 2009 Sena has an exuberant bouquet of blackberry, boysenberry, menthol, crushed stone and graphite that is extremely well defined and more feminine than the 2008. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, taut tannins and superb focus. It has a focused, leafy, tobacco infused finish and great length. Excellent. Drink 2014-2020.
Sena is the peripatetic wine that goes around the world challenging and, let it be said, often defeating First Growths in blind tastings. I will not enter into a discussion about that here, although it must be said that Sena is an impressive wine. Tasting through this mini-vertical from almost the first vintage, I did find a distinct improvement from 2007 onwards. While I understand that older vintages have their share of plaudits, I discerned more complexity and vitality as well as finer integration of oak on newer vintages, as if more thought had gone into the wines. The result can be seen in the wines themselves, in particular the outstanding 2010. " - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (12/26/2012, Issue 204), Ratings: 92, Drink: 2014-2020