25 years ago, Napa Valley legend, Robert Mondavi, partnered with Eduardo Chadwick to create a brand that would come to be considered one of the finest representations of Bordeaux-style wines in South America. Chadwick had been working for his family’s wine business, Viña Errázuriz, in Chile since 1983, traveling around the globe and tasting the world’s great wines. When Mondavi visited Chile in 1991, Chadwick showed him the country’s wines, including selections from Aconcagua, Maipo, and Colchagua valleys, tasting with him along the way. After traveling throughout the regions were convinced Chile had the ability to craft a premium, world-class wine that could match any on the international stage. They would call it Vina Seña.
They selected the rolling hillsides of the Aconcagua Valley, a rather sell-contained area that runs alongside the Aconcagua River under the shadow of the Andes Mountains. The river flows from the Andes to the Pacific. Spring snow melts bring water to the river, ensuring irrigation is always available. And breezes from the ocean are brought up the river throughout the year, keeping the valley’s vineyards cool throughout the heat of summer, ensuring the fruit maintains freshness.
Sustainability in the vineyard was a focus for the founders from the start. Today the vineyard is farmed biodynamically, with a concern for nature and a focus on stewardship of the land. Today the Chadwick family owns the property, with Eduardo Chadwick’s four daughters running the operations.
With volcanic and colluvial soils with well-draining gravelly rocks, the hillside vineyard is planted predominantly with Bordeaux varieties, including Chile’s notable grape, Carmenere. Though most often associated with Chile’s wines, Carmenere originated in Bordeaux, though few French wineries include it in their Bordeaux blends today.
2019 Seña 25th anniversary red blend ($150) includes a touch of the variety in the selection, blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, and 4% Petit Verdot, producing a highly structured, textured wine with concentration and complexity. Though the wine is powerful, there is a nice amount of freshness thanks to the vineyard’s unique location and the Chadwick family’s goal to produce wines that meld elegance with richness. The wine is big, aged 22 months in predominantly new French oak barrels, leading us to believe it has several years of ageability. However, it is also a beautiful wine to enjoy now, especially as we celebrate the holidays with hearty meals like a crown roast or grilled steaks. We recommend allowing it to breathe for a bit before pouring a glass to allow the tannins to further soften.