Chile’s answer to first growth Bordeaux, Viña Seña is one of the country’s most sought after wines. In his reviews and commentary on the wine, James Suckling has played a significant role in highlighting Viña Seña’s credentials as world-class.
While comparisons to Mouton Rothschild or Harlan can and have (again, Suckling) been made, one of the more interesting features of this wine is how well it drinks when young. For a Cabernet-based blend in this class, Viña Seña leaps out of the gate showing cassis and fresh blueberries. This is altogether very gratifying but there’s so much more in store. The length, depth and breadth make this a great working example of what we mean when we talk about three-dimensionality. High-wire act acidity and strong-man fruit, this circus of sensory pleasure is even more appealing considering that for the price of one Bordeaux first growth, you’ll have six of these. Hedonists take note.
The aromas of blackberries, cedar, sandalwood and black tea are compelling. Black olives. Rosemary and sage undertones. Full-bodied, rich and powerful Seña with impressive and powerful tannins, yet harmony and balance. Fruit-forward. Lightly chewy. Fresh and energetic wine in a hot year. Broad-shouldered.
99 points, JamesSuckling.com (March 2019)
They explained how the 2017 Seña was produced with "grapes that were handpicked in the morning and transported to the winery in 12-kilogram boxes for a careful inspection on a double sorting table. The grapes fermented in stainless steel tanks at 25 to 31 degrees Celsius (77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the variety and the level of extraction desired. Three pump-overs were carried out daily during fermentation to rotate the volume of the tank 0.5 to 1.5 times. Total maceration time ranged from 15 to 30 days for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Carmenère and eight to 12 days for the Petit Verdot, according to the development of each block vinified. The final blend was racked to French oak barrels (67% new) and aged for 22 months, during which time malolactic fermentation and stabilization occurred naturally." They harvested early and managed to keep the same alcohol level as the 2016. This has less aromatic exuberance and is a more serious vintage with good concentration and weight, not as aerial as the 2016. They increased the amount of wine matured in larger 2,500-liter foudres instead of barrique. This is more powerful, structured and concentrated, like a drier version of the 2015, with some grainy tannins, more acidity, more austerity and less primary fruit. The tannins have some grip (the earlier harvest perhaps?) and might need a little bit of time in bottle, and the wine seems to have what it takes to develop nicely in bottle. They produced 120,000 bottles of this. It was bottled in February and March 2019. Just for the record, the varietal breakdown is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 15% Carmenère, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, reflecting a good year for Carmenère and Cabernet Franc.
96+ points, Wine Advocate (February 2020)