2015 Seña, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
Luis Gutirrez - 28/04/2017
100/100. James Suckling.
About this WINE
Seña was originally a joint venture between Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi with the aim to produce Chile's ultimate premium red wine. Sharing their dreams, efforts, and dedication, in 1997 they released the first vintage of Seña (1995), Chile's first Icon wine, which marked a milestone and initiated the path for making Ultra Premium wines in Chile.
The fruit for Seña is sourced mainly from biodynamically farmed, premium plots in the Aconcagua wine region.
The blend varies with the vintage but is typically comprised of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec and 15% Cabernet Franc and a little bit of Petit Verdot. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks and the wine is then matured in small oak barrels (75% new) for 22 months. The first couple of vintages have been enthusiastically received by critics and connoisseurs alike, with comparisons already being made with some of world's top Cabernet blends. The future for Seña looks very promising.
Aconcagua, 80km from the capital Santiago, north of Casablanca and south of Limari, is the last east-west tranversal valley before the long, north-south Central Valley begins. It is named after the highest peak in the Andes, Mt. Aconcagua (6,959m) and is made up of two very distinct zones. The interior of Aconcagua, Panquehue, is Chile's hottest, driest wine region, while the new vineyards located closer to the Pacific coast produce wines with pronounced exotic flavours.
Pure Andean water, a stable climate, clear skies and low risk of frost create ideal conditions for wine growing. Cool currents from both the Pacific Ocean and the snow-capped Andes Mountains help to maintain good acidity in the grapes, while the sunny and intensely hot summers ensure full levels of fruit ripeness.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere dominate the production and they have been grown here since the mid 19th century, yet since the 1990s the region has witnessed an enthusiastic interest in Syrah.
Aconcagua is Errazuriz's base
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.
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“I’ve been lucky enough to taste most vintages of Seña, both in the UK and in Chile - this is the best yet. Displaying a kaleidoscopic array of red, blue and black fruit on the nose, with a violet note as well. Big but not overwhelming on the palate, the fruit is fantastically defined and fresh. This will require some patience in the cellar. A new benchmark for this already high achieving estate.”
Fergus Stewart, Private Account Manager.
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