About this WINE
Seña is a wine estate in Chile’s Aconcagua Valley. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between Eduardo Chadwick, whose family owns Errázuriz, and the late Robert Mondavi of California. Their ambitious aim was to produce a wine in Chile that could rival Bordeaux’s First Growths in terms of both style and quality. In 1997, they released the inaugural 1995 vintage. The estate has been wholly owned by the Chadwick family since 2005. Today, Eduardo’s daughters María Eugenia, María Magdalena, María José, and Alejandra are involved in the family estate.
The wine is a red Bordeaux blend with a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Malbec, and Petit Verdot. There is also a considerable proportion of Carménère, more so than you would find in Bordeaux, giving Seña a distinctly Chilean twist. There is also a second wine, Rocas de Seña, produced here. Rocas de Seña is notable for the use of grape varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre in its blend.
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.
Aconcagua is Errazuriz's base
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
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.