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September 11, 2017

Sena 2015

sena.1

Following the release of Almaviva and Clos Apalta last week, we are delighted to offer the finest of the great Chilean wine from the Errazuriz Estate, Sena. Sena is not just one of the finest wines of Chile, it is one of the leading new world wines and in the pantheon of great world wines, having famously beaten First Growths in blind tastings, I will elaborate on this later. Sena 2015 is the finest ever made surpassing even the 2000, which set the stage for Sena by surpassing the finest wines of Bordeaux in the Judgement of Berlin. Last year Errazuriz Vinedo Chadwick 2014 was awarded the accolade of receiving Chile’s first ever 100 point score, price at £650 per case of three. This has been followed in style, Sena 2015 has just been awarded 100 points from James Suckling and therefore matches the perfect scores given to Almaviva and Clos Apalta. Moreover, it backs this up with 96 points from the Wine Advocate, its equal highest ever. Yet, it is Suckling’s perfect score which will create a frenzied demand, which the Estate will not be able to meet with the meagre 5,500 cases they produce for the globe, a reduction of 38% on the perennial average. Sena has a very strong global market and it is one of the strongest new world brands in China! Today’s price of £490 per case of six at the first tranche price, is a super buy for a perfect scoring wine and is set to see very strong global demand over the course of the next 12 months, with plenty of secondary market trading likely to ensue.

The 2015 vintage was very warm in Chile, however the winemaker Francisco Baettig related to us that they stressed the vines to ensure the wine maintained a splendour of balance and power, it does, embodying fruit focus, torque, yet remaining harmonious. The resulting blend is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Carmenere, 12% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. This means the blend in 2015 has replaced Merlot with Malbec. In 2015, 82% of the wine was aged in French oak for 22 months, while the remainder matured in oak foudres, the voluminous oak vessels you will have seen in many a winery. The wine in said vessels adds a touch of classicism, the wine remaining a Chilean masterpiece, while strongly influenced by Bordeaux’s excellence, veritably true to Chile. After all, Errazuriz Sena is the First Growth of Chile; its principle tour de force was overcoming a field of First Growths in what has become known as the Judgement of Berlin. Since then the proprietor Eduardo Chadwick has triumphantly travelled the world pitting his wine against the world’s best in blind tastings and as a result, Sena has earned a global cachet as being the leading Chilean Fine Wine.

The Judgement of Paris was organised by Steven Spurrier in 1976 to pit the leading wines of California against the great wines of Bordeaux and was famous for shocking the wine world when California whitewashed their old world counterparts. In 2004 Eduardo Chadwick, Sena’s proprietor, invited 40 of Europe’s leading tasters, including Spurrier, to blind taste his prestige wines against 16 similar vintages of the First Growths and Super Tuscans. The outcome was remarkable, Sena 2000 tied for fourth place with Chateau Margaux 2001; Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2000 was third.

Sena was established as a joint venture between the powerhouse Chilean wine Estate Vina Errazuriz and the colossus Robert Mondavi; its inaugural vintage was in 1995. In 2005 the Chadwick family took 100% ownership of Sena; Sena is the personal project of Eduardo Chadwick, who is realising his vision of creating an iconic wine that expresses the terrior of Chile. Sena translates as personal signature, a sign of Eduardo’s commitment to embracing the local soil, aspect and climate located in the Aconcagua Valley. In fact, Don Maximiano Errazuriz – Eduardo’s great grandfather – founded Vina Errazuriz in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 KMs north of Santiago, in order to take advantage of the cool rains and hot dry summers that experience moist and cool Pacific Ocean breezes, ideal for growing grapes; Don Maximiano sourced the vines from the finest clones of France.

Sena is a Bordeaux style blend, yet remains authentically Chilean. It is Eduardo’s view that Carmenere adds a Chilean personality to the wine, we agree, the wine would be poorer for its absence. All the grapes are sourced from the Sena hillside vineyards where the vines are tended using bio-dynamic principles.

Sena 2015, 6×75 - £490 IB 

100 Points, James Suckling
Stunning aromas of blackcurrant, stone, blueberry and licorice. Also iodine. Floral. Perfumed. Full body, fantastic density of fruit and ripe tannins. It goes on for minutes on the palate with such energy and focus. Touch of chewiness on the finish. A complex and complete wine that delivers a generosity with firmness. Drink in 2021 but already a classic to drink. 

96 Points, Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
As a comparison to the 2014 vintage of this wine, the 2015 Seña resulted in 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Carmenere, 12% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, with now 12% of the wine matured in new Stockinger oak foudres and the rest in barrique for some 22 months. 2015 might have been a slightly warmer year, but the resulting wine is lower in alcohol and higher in acidity, which provide for a more vibrant mouthfeel and a more focused expression of the character of the place. This vintage has half a degree less alcohol, and the acidity is a little more pungent; and, the amount of wine in foudre seems to help the oak to show better integrated. This is dry, nicely textured, and the replacement of the Merlot by Malbec seems to have also added to the refinement of the tannins that are super-elegant. 66,000 bottles were filled in February 2017. The price has not yet been set.

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