This morning marks the release of not only the finest wine of Chile, but one of the leading new world wines, the iconic Sena which has chiselled out a pillar for itself in the pantheon of great world wines. After all, Sena has famously and repeatedly beat the Bordeaux First Growths in blind tastings at a time when new world wines fought to be measured as equal to the great wines of France. Yet the winning votes kept coming for Sena, as panels sat incredulously as French ears discovered their palates had established Sena the victor. Today’s release of the 2018 vintage marks a new highpoint for this giant, surpassing the great 2015 and the 2000, which set the benchmark for Sena by surpassing the finest wines of Bordeaux in the Judgement of Berlin.

 

The 2018 has been awarded its second perfect score from James Suckling, 100 points, matching the 2015 vintage. Furthermore, Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate decorates it with their highest ever score of 98 points and describes it as ’nuanced and complex, with depth but also freshness and finesse—floral and expressive. The tannins are very fine, polished and elegant, and the wine is long and complex, mixing the best f 2015 and 2016…. This has to be the finest vintage of Seña to date.’ The joint accolades were achieved as a result of their unstinting desire to perennially make one of the world’s great wines, distilling every possible advantage this great Estate and winemaking team have. The 2018 vintage provided a perfect canvas for the team to paint a masterpiece. Slow ripening allowes the grapes to achieve incredible balance giving way to aromatic stylising, fruit purity and complexity which when combined with exceptional  elegance makes something truly special. The price on release this morning is £495 per case of six a £100 discount to Almaviva from yesterday, which Sena surpasses in style, quality, longevity and authenticity. It is an excellent offering and a must own wine, perhaps the finest wine ever from Chile and worth preserving in large formats, which we are delighted to offer. 

 

The blend in 2018 is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Sena 2018 was aged 85% 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, Sena remains a Chilean masterpiece, while  being strongly influenced by Bordeaux’s excellence. 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 KM 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. Malbec is then used to add even more South American flair and pizzazz to what is otherwise classically old world in style. All the grapes are sourced from the Sena hillside vineyards where the vines are tended using bio-dynamic principles. Production is 100,000 bottles and the alcohol in 2018 is 14%. The 2018 is a brilliant wine, one we recommend highly, it competes the leading wines of Bordeaux, at a fraction of the price of its First Growth peers.