2019 Seña, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
Drink 2024 - 2040
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (September 2021)
The 2019 Seña was produced with a Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Carmenere and 4% Petit Verdot with the Chilean character of the high percentage of Carmenere. Most of the volume fermented in stainless steel with some 10% in concrete vats, and the final blend matured for 22 months in French oak barrels, 80% of them new, and 10% in Stockinger vats.
It's 13.5% alcohol and has good acidity and freshness, coming through as medium-bodied, elegant and balanced. This is incredibly elegant, subtle and harmonious even at this early stage. It has floral aromas, notes of orange peel, a touch of creamy sweet spices and great freshness. The palate is medium-bodied, seamless and pure, with pungent flavors and a soft texture. It's long, clean, defined and super tasty.
I feel this wine is getting better and better by the vintage.The grapes were picked quite early, and that helped to contain the ripeness and seems to have been a great decision. There was also an exception in the Panquehue zone where the Seña vines are, where the summer was cooler than the average, so quite different to many other regions in Chile. 100,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2021.
Drink 2021 - 2030
Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (August 2021)
Such beautiful aromas of crushed berries, currants, walnuts, allspice and nutmeg follow through to a full body with tight, ultra fine tannins that provide length and intensity. A finish of slightly dried cherries with wet earth, slate and stone. Chewy and fine-grained. A wine with soul and length. Give it time.
Drink from 2025 onward
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (August 2021)
Continuing a recent run of Seña releases that have prioritised finesse over power, the 2019 shows that the coastal influence was important in this part of the Aconcagua Valley... Fresh, sappy and taut, it’s a seamless blend that’s driven by acidity, with notes of tobacco leaf and coffee bean, a hint of good reduction, blackcurrant leaf, plum and red berry flavours, fine-grained, detailed tannins and deftly integrated oak. One to keep for a while.
Tim Atkin, timatkin.com
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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The 25th anniversary vintage, and an excellent showcase of the supple, nuanced fruits of this wine. Plenty of black cherry and bilberry puree, pure but layered. It has the rich depths that always delivers, where things are almost too much and yet not quite enough, still leaving you wanting more. Fragrant raspberry leaf becomes clearer as it opens in the glass, as does the saline minerality and a smoky finish, with the tannins becoming more delicate by the minute, highlighting freshness and juice. Located in the Aconguacgua foothills, following biodynamic farming. Tasted twice
Drink 2024 - 2040
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (September 2021)
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