• 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 with nearly black tints, on the nose Seña 2010 offers fresh red and black fruit such as raspberries, cherries, blackberries, and blueberries, followed by notes of tobacco and cedar, along with a light spicy, floral touch. Equally complex on the palate, its flavours mingle with its firm structure and fine tannins that, in concert with its good acidity, presage a beautiful evolution in the bottle.”
"The 2010 Sena is more generous on the nose than the 2009, with crisp, ripe blackberry, boysenberry and graphite notes that are tightly coiled and, at the moment, not as expressive as the 2009. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. This is silky smooth in the mouth, harmonious and the oak is deftly interwoven into the structure. This is a sophisticated Sena.
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: 94, Drink: 2014-2022