Stuart George

Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

Seña and sensibility

In Tastings on September 22, 2010 at 8:42 am

On Wednesday 15 September I went to the Autumn Portfolio Tasting of New Generation Wines, an affable bunch with some nice wines on their books – Schiopetto, for example.

The tasting was held in The Red Room of Les Ambassadeurs Club , just off the Hyde Park Corner end of Park Lane. “Les A” is supposedly the “most exclusive” gambling haunt in London, with a long history of catering to high rollers. The Red Room looked to me like one of those places that the vulgar rich enjoy – lots of mirrors (of course), hushed lighting, big sofas, gaudy decor and overpriced drinks. My former ladyfriend Alla – a stunning and thoroughly amoral creature from Moscow – would love it.

Aged Chilean wines are almost as rare as rich Russians with good taste. But New Generation had assembled a five-vintage vertical of Seña, the “icon” wine initiated by Viña Errázuriz and Robert Mondavi in the 1990s.

Seña 2000 was tasted from magnum. It was cedary and fleshy, though still rather taut on the finish. Good wine.

The 2001 was sweeter and richer – clearly a much warmer year – with more tannin to lose. But another good wine.

There was a change of pace with the 2002. It was much tougher, with tannins as rasping as a cough. But even those felt tender compared to the 2006 and 2007, which were very much in Chilean wine’s modernist style, all creamy oak flavours and scorching tannins to appeal to the US palate.

Will the recent vintages age as well as the 2000? I dunno. But I do know that Seña is an expensive wine – £39.80 ex-vat from New Generation.

London bridges walk for Haiti, Madeira and Chile on 6 March

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

At 4:53:09 pm on 12 January, at a point 25 km southwest of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, the Caribbean Tectonic Plate pushed against the neighbouring North American plate and caused one of the worst-ever natural disasters. An already desperately poor country was left in ruins.

On Saturday 20 February the beautiful island of Madeira was confronted by huge floods. The island’s capital Funchal has been devastated.

On that same Saturday Chile was hit by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake, the seventh most powerful on record and the worst disaster to befall Chile in 50 years.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent humanitarian medical aid organisation. It delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

MSF is entirely independent and relies on donations to support its work. Private funding gives MSF the freedom to respond to the greatest needs as fast as possible without political interference.

I have a close friend who works for MSF and she was recently in Haiti. Although she did not speak much about what she saw it was obvious that it had affected her deeply.

On Saturday 6 March we will be walking across eight London bridges, from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge, to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières and its work in Haiti and Madeira.

Tragedy has a way of visiting those who can bear it least. Please give generously at

and ask friends, family and colleagues to sponsor us – or even walk with us.

Stuart George and Val Blakely