Une réussite saisissante !
The truly excellent 2016 Seña could very well be the finest wine produced at this estate that started as a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick and now continues under the guidance of Chadwick and the excellent hand of winemaker Francisco Pancho Baettig. The grapes were picked later in 2016, and the final blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Carmenere and 5% Cabernet Franc, with more Malbec and considerably less Carmenere than in the past. This is only 13.5% alcohol and has remarkable acidity and freshness, as well as overall balance and elegance that surpasses all previous vintages. Twelve percent of the volume matured in oak foudres, while the rest was aged in barrique (73% new) for 22 months. Even so, the wine is not oaky and comes through as harmonious and elegant within the house style. It's serious, dry and elegant, with zero concessions to sweetness. A mineral and profound red blend.
The Seña vineyard was planted in 1998 in the heart of the Aconcagua Valley, and since 1995 it's provided the fruit for a single vineyard blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon. This new release is 55% Cabernet, with 20% Malbec, 15% Petit Verdot, 8% Carménère and 2% Cabernet Franc. Winemaker Francisco Baettig works with these grapes to obtain the greatest freshness, and the very cold temperatures of 2016 certainly helped him in this task. The 2016 is vibrant, full of notes of flowers and spices, with a medium-bodied palate showing juicy acidity and firm, sharp tannins, like small needles. A linear, vertical wine, this is probably the best version to date.
Elegant, rich and finely textured, with concentrated and pure-tasting flavors of dried cherry, raspberry and red currant, framed by medium-grained tannins. The polished finish features sandalwood and dried savory spice notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2025.
98 James Suckling
95 Wine Spectator