I just got off a major awards season high with Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY winning an Oscar.
I was also thrilled to find out about Bear Story winning Best Animated Short Film for two reasons: Bears (because bears are cute!), and that it’s the first Chilean winner of an Academy Award.
That’s not the only thing Chile has won in the past few months.
Seña, Chile’s first icon wine and a collaboration between legendary vineyards Viña Errázuriz and California’s Robert Mondavi, has gotten the highest score of 96 points for their 2013 vintage.
Some people write off these kinds of reports as just a bunch of numbers, but let me explain the process to understand why this is such a big deal.
Getting recognition from The Wine Advocate, the publication by the well-known wine critic Robert Parker (whose tastes and opinions on wine constantly influence the global wine industry), is quite an achievement for any winemaker. The process of selection is quite grueling… In this particular case of Seña’s, it involved Luis Gutiérrez (critic in charge of rating South American and Spanish wines for Parker) tasting almost 900 wines from different Chilean wineries, while going around Chile for two weeks and meeting winemakers and other personalities in the wine industry.
Gutiérrez described the wine as “Linear, juicy, sharp, and long, very tasty and with very fine, slightly grainy tannins. There is superb balance, classical proportion and symmetry. I have not tasted all of the vintages of Seña (one day…), but out of all the years I’ve tried, this is certainly the best.” He added, “I tasted what can be the finest vintage to date from Seña with winemaker Francisco Baettig. He’s doing a great job.”
Gutiérrez wasn’t the only critic to take notice of this phenomenal wine. James Suckling, wine critic and former European Chief of Wine Spectator, was responsible for awarding Seña with 99 points, the highest score ever obtained by a Chilean wine in international rankings.
Owner and President of Viña Seña, Eduardo Chadwick, had this to say: “Seña was created with the vision to be a world-class wine like none other in Chile, and that would change the way the world thought about Chilean wines. I am very happy about these recognitions. This is not only a great milestone for Seña, but also for all Chilean wines in our pursuit of excellence and recognition of quality at the highest level.”
Seña Head Winemaker Francisco Baettig added: “Finesse and elegance are the two words that best describe Seña 2013, a perfect blend of structure, persistence, and depth along with freshness and balance. These are the most wonderful recognitions to all the Seña team, for all of these years of hard work and dedication.”
Awards by esteemed wine critics and a reason to drink (yay, Leo!)… Excuse me while I hotfoot to the nearest wine shop for my own bottle. Felicitaciones, Chile! Salud!
*Muchas Gracias to Ms. Verónica Steinbrügge