Viña Seña Red Blend 2017 (Aconcagua Valley, Chile) - [JS 99] [DM 97] [WA 96+] [VM 94]

Viña Seña Red Blend 2017
(Aconcagua Valley, Chile) - [JS 99] [DM 97] [WA 96+] [VM 94]

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JS99 DM97 WA96+ VM94
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About this Wine:
Seña, was created as a joint venture between Chilean Eduardo Chadwick and American Robert Mondavi way back in 1995. Their aim was to make a wine that would demonstrate the full potential of Chile. Modelled on a Bordeaux style, it would have a Chilean soul, with its grapes grown under biodynamic farming principles in the Aconcagua Valley. Their dream was to create a wine that would be welcomed, in time, among the world's First Growths. 

Vintage Notes:
Hot and sunny days marked the 2017 season. Nevertheless, thanks to its privileged coastal location in the Aconcagua Valley – only 40 kilometres away from the Pacific Ocean – the cool breezes that blow in, moderated the temperatures. This combination of factors allowed Seña to reach perfect ripeness with a unique balance between concentration and power alongside tension, elegance and freshness. At the outset of the season until July 30th, the soils in our Seña vineyard were fully replenished with generous water reserves with rains totalling 282 millimetres, all concentrated in winter, much higher than the historical average for that same period of 180 millimetres. The following months lead to a dry spring, with temperatures well above our records in August and September, enabling an early bud break that occurred 15 days before the historical dates. Flowering also came in advance in November. Continuing with this trend during summer, perfectly homogenous veraison began 15 days before historical dates, given the higher heat summation recorded from October to January. This, together with low yields, set the stage for an early vintage, which got ahead 20 days compared to historical dates to preserve the characteristic freshness and elegance of Seña.

Tasting Notes:
"Of a bright, garnet red colour with beautiful violet sparkles, the 2017 vintage of Seña unwinds in a display of attractive aromas of blueberries, cherries, some cloves, violets and cassis, framed by so pastry notes, and a delicate final touch of liquorice. On the palate, it is juicy, very fresh and lively, with tannins that provide support and structure to wine with amazing persistence and personality, and that will age gracefully over time. This is perhaps one of the most complete and definitive versions of Seña that we have crafted so far." -Francisco Baettig, Winemaker February 2019

Technical Information

Assemblage: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot

Alcohol: 13.5%

Ageing: 22 months, 88% in French oak barrels (70% new), 12% foudres

Ratings & Reviews:

99 Points - James Suckling:
"The aromas of blackberries, cedar, sandalwood and black tea are compelling. Black olives. Rosemary and sage undertones. Full-bodied, rich and powerful Seña with impressive and powerful tannins, yet harmony and balance. Fruit-forward. Lightly chewy. Fresh and energetic wine in a hot year. Broad-shouldered. Drink after 2022." (Mar 2019)

97 Points - Decanter Magazine:

"Francisco Baettig harvested this Bordeaux blend 20 days early to deliver this elegant, bright, somehow subdued wine. Complex herbs, cassis and cedar layered with figs and plums. Stylish palate, juicy concentration and a grainy, textured structure, framed by a vibrant acidity. Fluid and elegant." - Marina Gayan MW 

96+ Points - Wine Advocate:
"They explained how the 2017 Seña was produced with "grapes that were handpicked in the morning and transported to the winery in 12-kilogram boxes for a careful inspection on a double sorting table. The grapes fermented in stainless steel tanks at 25 to 31 degrees Celsius (77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the variety and the level of extraction desired. Three pump-overs were carried out daily during fermentation to rotate the volume of the tank 0.5 to 1.5 times. Total maceration time ranged from 15 to 30 days for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Carmenère and eight to 12 days for the Petit Verdot, according to the development of each block vinified. The final blend was racked to French oak barrels (67% new) and aged for 22 months, during which time malolactic fermentation and stabilization occurred naturally." They harvested early and managed to keep the same alcohol level as the 2016. This has less aromatic exuberance and is a more serious vintage with good concentration and weight, not as aerial as the 2016. They increased the amount of wine matured in larger 2,500-liter foudres instead of barrique. This is more powerful, structured and concentrated, like a drier version of the 2015, with some grainy tannins, more acidity, more austerity and less primary fruit. The tannins have some grip (the earlier harvest perhaps?) and might need a little bit of time in bottle, and the wine seems to have what it takes to develop nicely in bottle. They produced 120,000 bottles of this. It was bottled in February and March 2019. Just for the record, the varietal breakdown is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 15% Carmenère, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, reflecting a good year for Carmenère and Cabernet Franc." - Luis Gutierrez (Feb 2020)

94 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2017 Seña was made in a warm, dry, early-ripening year. A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 15% Carménère, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, it was aged for 22 months in 70% new French barrels and a fifth in foudres . A purplish garnet in the glass. The simple, vivid nose offers notes of ripe blackcurrant and blackberry and their respective jams. In the mouth, it’s compact with firm tannins and accomplished juice thanks to the well-preserved acidity." - Joaquin Hidalgo (Aug 2022)