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Sena 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
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0% ABV
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Try the 2015 Vintage 129 99
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Winemaker Notes

Seña is the fulfillment of a vision shared by Napa Valley's Robert Mondavi and Chile's Eduardo Chadwick for producing a world-class wine that captures the essence of Chile's outstanding terroir. In the Spanish language, the word Seña means a distinguishing mark or personal signature, and these two winemaking pioneers proudly display their signatures on every bottle of Seña. Seña is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère grapes. Our 1999 vintage expresses dark berry fruit character with notes of ripe black olive. Hints of tobacco and earth distinguish this vintage, and oak aging adds vanilla, toasted almonds and coffee. The wine enters the mouth with spicy tannins and finishes with a long, chewy, sweet finish. Classic cassis and mint aromas are developing in the bottle, and we believe that 1999 Seña will continue to improve for the next 10 years.

Alcohol: 14.0%

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Sena
Sena, Chile
In 1995, Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick pioneered one of Chile's first international joint ventures, a bold and forward-thinking move in those times. They set a very challenging goal: to reach the full potential of Chile's wine country and to create a truly world-class wine. These two are distinguished traditional wine families shared the passion for excellence and innovation. Sharing their dream and dedication, in 1997 they released the first vintage of Sena (1995), one of Chile's first iconic wines, marking a milestone and initiating the path for making ultra-premium wines in Chile. Eduardo Chadwick searched alongside Robert Mondavi for four years before finding the ideal terroir in Chile's Valle de Aconcagua. Sena, the Chilean Bordeax-blend, is the culmination of their vision, an expression of consummate quality and character.

One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

WWB99818_1999 Item# 49482