• Domaine: Seña (Viña Errázuriz)
• A.O.C.: Aconcagua Valley, Chile
• Classification: Wine of Chile
• Varietals: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenere, 15% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
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.
“A beautiful, deep ruby-red colour with a violet hue, on the nose Seña 2011 offers black pepper and incense notes mingled with aromas of fresh black and red fruit such as blueberries, black currant, blackberries, and cherries, followed by dark chocolate and balsamic notes of sage and blond tobacco that lend a finishing touch that enhances the complexity of the blend. The palate opens smoothly, appearing long, refreshing and full of subtleties, with a broad range of flavours and a structure worthy of its complexity that provides an attractive sensation of volume and texture. An extremely balanced and elegant style of wine that presages its excellent cellaring potential.”
"The 2011 Sena is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenere, 15% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in 75% new French oak barrels for 22 months. It has a bright cherry color and restrained aromas of blackberries, spices, cedar wood, tobacco and a hint of mint. The palate is a little tight and restrained, and the wine medium-bodied, with balanced concentration and good acidity. Young but accessible, it shows great elegance and balance. I like it more than the older vintages that I had the chance to taste for context. It needs to develop the bouquet and complexity that, without a doubt, will come with time in bottle." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/25/2014, Issue 213), Ratings: 93, Drink: 2015-2027