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New second wine for Chile’s Seña has sold out already

Yesterday saw the launch of a second label for Chilean fine wine Seña, called Rocas de Seña, which has sold out within hours of its release to the market.

Speaking shortly after the 2020 vintage of both wines had been released to the trade via La Place de Bordeaux at 8am yesterday morning, db was told that the new label had already been snapped up in its entirety.

During a tasting of the new releases in London, Patrick McGrath, who heads up the UK distributor for Viñedos Familia Chadwick, Hatch Mansfield, said that Rocas de Seña “has sold out already”.

While both Seña and Rocas de Seña are disseminated worldwide via the French négociants, Hatch Mansfield acts as the UK distributor for other brands in the portfolio of Chile’s Viñedos Familia Chadwick, which is the holding company for Seña, along with Errázuriz, Viñedo Chadwick and Arboleda.

While Seña’s 2020 vintage was released at €85 per bottle ex-négociant, up 6.2% on the 2019’s opening price (and is being offered by the international trade for £1,029 per 12×75), Rocas de Seña 2020 came out at €35 per bottle ex-négociant, and is being offered for £426 per case (12×75).

Slightly fewer than 3,000 cases were made of the inaugural 2020 vintage of Rocas de Seña, which is around half the annual production of the grand vin, Seña.

While both wines come primarily from the same source – an isolated, biodynamically-farmed estate in the Aconcagua Valley – the varietal composition of the expressions is different.

Seña is a Cabernet-dominant blend (53%), supported by Malbec (25%) and Carmenère (15%), along with a touch of Petit Verdot (7%), while Rocas de Seña contains no Carmenère, and is dominated by Malbec (38%), with Syrah (25%), then Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Grenache (14%) also incorporated, along with Petit Verdot (8%).

Commenting on the mix of grapes in the wines at the tasting in London yesterday, winemaker Francisco Baettig said that he had selected a set of different varieties to ensure that Rocas de Seña – which takes it names from the rocky soils of the Aconcagua – had its own character.

“I did not want to make copy of Seña just with younger parcels [of vines], I wanted to give a personality to Rocas, which is why I used Malbec as a base instead of Cabernet, and some Mediterranean varieties, with Syrah and Grenache,” he said.

Although he would not rule out incorporating Carmenère into future blends, he said that Petit Verdot was important for bringing “tension” to the wine, something needed in this warm part of Chile, as well as in a moderately hot and dry vintage such as 2020.

As for the Syrah and Grenache, the grapes in fact come from a property in Vertientes, which is “close” to the vineyards for Seña, and will, said Baettig, become part of the Seña estate “at some point”.

Summing up, he said, “The goal of Rocas is not to be a Cabernet-based wine – we have that with Seña, as well as Chadwick and Don Max.”

He also pointed out that Mediterranean varieties such as Syrah and Grenache “perform very well” and “help with the diversity of Chile.”

Read more

Chile’s Seña 2020 released on La Place de Bordeaux

Coming of age: how Seña proved that Chilean fine wine gets better with time

Building a fine wine brand: the story of Chile’s Sena

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