mondavi & chadwick, sena, aconcagua 2018
JAMES SUCKLING
100
DECANTER
97

2018 mondavi & chadwick, sena, aconcagua

Why We're Buying

Mondavi & Chadwick Seña represents the best of both worlds. On the one hand, you have legendary American winemaker Robert Mondavi. On the other hand, you have Chile's critically acclaimed Viña Errázuriz, which is owned by the Chadwick family. The duo released the first batch of Seña, which features six red grape varieties, and won the Berlin Wine Tasting of 2004.

Critics Scores

JAMES SUCKLING
100

James Suckling

This is a very thoughtful Seña that shows unique aromas of warm earth, mushrooms and conifer, turning to dark berries and black olives. The palate is more glamorous with ultra-fine tannins that envelop your palate. Shows power and vibrancy at the end. Toned muscles. It’s a very intellectual wine that harkens back to the 2015. Blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 18% malbec, 15% carmenere, 7% cabernet franc and 5% merlot. Beautiful to try now, but better after 2023.

DECANTER
97

Decanter

2018 was a return to a more balanced growing season after the drought of 2017, and the cooler conditions of 2016, with long slow ripening that has ensured an intense deep colour, and both concentration and juice in the body of this wine. The aromatics jump straight out of the glass, cedar, black fruit, cloves and cinnamon spice. This is intense, with polish and balance, and will gain further depth over ageing. Layers of complexity on display, extremely impressive vintage of Seña that pulses with life. 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 85% new oak.

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE
98

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2018 Seña shows the fresher side of the Ocoa zone of the Aconcagua Valley through a Bordeaux blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot; there are small differences, but nothing substantial. As I've seen in other wines from the very complete 2018 vintage, the grapes ripened thoroughly and achieved more flavors and nuances, and the wines are slightly higher in alcohol (14% this year versus 13.3% in 2017, but in reality it's 13.8% ). But the wine seems to have more of everything. The grapes fermented in a combination of stainless steel and concrete vats and matured in new barriques and Stockinger foudres for 22 months, a similar formula as the one used for Viñedo Chadwick. This is a very elegant vintage of Seña, a year with a slow ripening so that the grapes achieved very good ripeness and full development of aromas and flavors, making the wine nuanced and complex, with depth but also freshness and finesse—floral and expressive. The tannins are very fine, polished and elegant, and the wine is long and complex, mixing the best f 2015 and 2016, coming through as a very complete year. It's still a little young and should develop nicely in bottle; it's approachable now, but if you can hold it a little bit more, it should be even better. This has to be the finest vintage of Seña to date. Comparing it with the Chadwick from the same year, there is more freshness and a little more complexity and clout coming form the cooler zone and the palette of varieties used that give more options to achieve more nuance.