Sena 2020

Chadwick, Eduardo

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Tasting Notes

The 2020 Seña is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 15% Carmenere and 7% Petit Verdot (a little higher in search of acidity) from grapes harvested early, the second week of March, and fermented mostly in stainless steel and 10% in concrete eggs. It has a moderate 13.5% alcohol and good freshness. It's subtle and layered, not only fruit but with more spice; it has polished tannins and very integrated oak after 22 months in barrique, 78% new, and with 10% of the volume in large Stockinger barrels. The warmer years seem to be nicely managed, so that it's not reflected in the ripeness but is more a matter of texture and quality of the tannins; in the warmer years, like 2017 or this 2019, the wines have a little more grip, but these are definitely finer than those from the 2017 vintage. This wine has intensity and complexity, with no mintiness or herbal notes; it's spicy and juicy, with energy and depth. It has structure, color, stuffing and acidity to develop nicely in bottle. 100,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2022.

Score: 97

Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2023 - 2035 31 August 2022

The 2020 Seña was made in another warm, early-ripening year further complicated by the restrictions that came with the COVID pandemic, which hindered decision-making in the vineyard. A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 15% Carménère and 7% Petit Verdot, it was aged for 22 months, 90% in French barrels and the rest in foudres. A purplish garnet red, the intense, ripe nose presents notes of herb, blackcurrant and plum while in the mouth the rich balance gives a gentle boost channeled by firm but restrained tannins. Juicy and relaxed with nuanced flavor, it will improve in the bottle.

Score: 94

Joaquín Hidalgo, Maturity: 2026 - 2043 01 August 2022

Complex, with savory, spicy character, showing tobacco, salted plums, olives, black cherries, cassis and a hint of white pepper on the nose, followed by a refined, savory, balsamic accent. A full-bodied Seña with juicy fruit chiseling into the tight, extremely fine-grained tannins. Long, bright and still elegant from this warm vintage. 53% cabernet sauvignon, 25% malbec, 15% carmenere and 7% petit verdot. A wine with lots of harmony now, but better to drink from 2025.

Score: 98

James Suckling, Maturity: 2025+ 21 April 2022

Balanced, intense, raspberry, bilberry, balsamic, dill, tar, grilled cedar and sandalwood. Welcoming and confident, classic Seña swagger, the balance and savoury spice notes arrive if you allow it to sit in the glass. This was a hot and dry vintage, very little rain over the winter before the season began, and the main challenge throughout was water availability. There are wells at the Seña vineyard, and their location closer to the Pacific helps moderate tempatures, but they also picked one week earlier than 2019, and upped the Malbec in the blend because it kept freshness and acidity, and helped with the aromatics. The result is more powerful and opulent than recent vinages, with an emphasis on cocoa bean and dark mint chocolate on the finish. A wine of layers that absolutely delivers on the house style, not easy to maintain in such dry vintages. 10% 2,500l oak casks for ageing, with 70% new French oak, biodynamic farming. Francisco Baettig winemaker.

Score: 94

Jane Anson, 30 November -0001