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“The 1999 Seña has spicy blackberry and earthy aromas. The oak adds elements of toasted almonds, vanilla and coffee. With bottle bouquet classic cassis and mint aromas are developing. The flavours in the mouth remind ripe black olives and blackberry pie. Other flavours in the mouth are black cherry, coffee, vanilla and leather. The wine enters the mouth with spicy tannins and finishes with a long chewy sweet finish. This wine is a reflection of the 1999 harvest, which has toasted almond characters along with tobacco and earthy notes. Seña 1999 will continue improving in the bottle for many years.”
Tim Mondavi, Winemaker February 2001
Seña is an authentic Chilean blend made from the finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot varieties. The Carmenere variety adds an evident Chilean personality to the wine.
To maximize quality, the fruit is handpicked exclusively in the morning and brought to the winery in 12 kg boxes. The grapes are then carefully selected on sorting tables and all extraneous plant material, leaves, and stems are removed to ensure fine fruit character in the final blend. The grapes are mostly fermented in stainless steel tanks at temperatures ranging from 24° to 30°C (75°–86°F), depending on the variety and seasonal conditions (microbiological load, and alcohol potential), to achieve the desired level of extraction. 6% of the must are fermented in first-use French oak barrels to increase the complexity of the blend. During fermentation, 3 pump overs are performed daily at 0.5 to 1.5 times the tank volume, in accordance with the degree of extraction desired.
Total maceration time range from 20 to 33 days for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenere and 6 to 8 days for Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, depending on the development of each individual lot.
The new wine then racked to 100% French new oak barrels from a selection of the finest cooperages is aged for 22 months, during which time most of the malolactic fermentation takes place.
This was a season of dramatically reduced yields. The spring and most of the growing season were warm and dry, which created optimal health conditions for the fruit. The weather turned at the end of the summer and remained cool throughout the autumn, which delayed ripening in all the varieties despite the low yields because we had to wait for the grapes to develop ripe tannins and full fruit flavours.