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 Judgment of Berlin. Since then the proprietor Eduardo Chadwick has triumphantly travelled the world pitting his wine against the world’s best in blind tastings. This year’s release, the 2013, is now the highest ever scoring Chilean wine, awarded 99 points by James Suckling.
A mild spring in 2013, followed by a temperate summer, allowed the grapes to ripen slowly, at their own leisure. A cooler February meant the fruit had an even longer hang time, with sugar content increasing slowly, achieving perfect phenolic maturity. The blend of Sena 2013 is Cabernet Sauvignon 58%, Malbec 15%, Carmenere 12%, Merlot 10% and Petit Verdot 5%.The result is a truly magnificent effort, the best yet from this world class estate. The wine is elegant, concentrated and, in the view of Suckling, pushing the envelope of winemaking perfection. We expect this to be extremely popular.
The Judgment 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 embraces the paradigm of delicate handling, elegance and complexity and to this end the fruit is handpicked exclusively in the morning and painstakingly selected on sorting tables. The majority of the grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks, yet 6% are selected and fermented in new French oak barrels. No expense is spared with Sena, it is aged in 75% new French oak barrels for 22 months and 9,000 cases are made a year.
Sena 2013, 6x75cl- £310 IB or £386.76 including VAT and duty.
Large formats available:
3×150 (MAGS) – £325 IB
1×300 (Double MAG) – £220 IB
1×600 (Imperial) – £435 IB
1×900 (Salmanazer) – £655 IB
James Suckling 99 Points
Superb aromas of black currants, rose petal and mint. Lavender and stones too. Full body with incredible fruit density. Complex, yet it’s agile and bright. Tannins are perfectly polished. It builds on the palate and shows the structure of a first growth Bordeaux but remains so Chilean. A blend of 58% cabernet sauvignon, 15% carmenere, 12% malbec, 10% merlot, and 5% petit verdot. From biodynamically grown grapes. This is a joy to taste now but it will show itself in 2019. Even better than the amazing 2012.
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