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  • Country ranking ?

    641
  • Producer ranking ?

    60
  • Decanting time

    1h30min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Mature cheddar cheese

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore DOC is the estate's flagship wine which embodies the quality philosophy of the estate.

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia's production hilosophy is based upon the belief that wines must be the most faithful expression of the terroirs that produce them. The mild marine climate and the colours and aromas of the lush Mediterranean vegetation leave a special imprint upon the character of the wines. A respect for the estate's unique territory guides all aspects of production: limited quantities to ensure maximum quality, attention to every detail, selective hand harvesting, microvinification and ageing.

The Ornellaia vineyard totals 280 acres that are divided into more than 70 vineyard plots according to soil type, exposition and varietal. There are three major soil types: marine (sedimentary deposit from the sea), alluvial (marly, sandy clays with mineral veins), and volcanic (schist, gravel and porous soils). All the vineyards are about 3 miles from the Mediterranean shore. The mild maritime climate features sea breezes that keep the sky clear, low rainfall, and long summers that favor the development of aromatic compounds.
Vineyards are planted at high density, from 5,000-8,700 hl/ha, and feature several training systems – spur-pruned cordon, single Guyot, and head-pruned vines.

The clusters are hand-picked into 15-kg boxes and then go through a selection by hand on a double sorting table, both before and after destemming, and grapes are finally softly crushed. Each grape variety and single vineyard block is vinified separately. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26-30°C for two weeks, followed by 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. The malolactic fermentation takes place mainly in oak barrels, 70% new and 30% once-used. The wine then remains in barriques, in Ornellaia’s temperature- controlled cellars, for about 18 months. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine is assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 6 months. After bottling, the wine ages a further 12 months prior to release.

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Wine Information

The climate for the 1990 vintage was characterised by moderate precipitation during the month of August and elevated temperatures during the final phases of berry maturation. The harvest was carried out entirely by hand, and the grapes were collected in baskets holding no more than 15 Kg. The grapes were harvested from the 1st of September to the 20th of September. Attention was given to careful grape selection and the grapes brought to the cellars were in excellent condition with 22-24.5 degrees Brix.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Bernard Magrez satisfied some curiosity with a 1990 Ornellaia. Mr. Magrez owns 34 vineyards worldwide at the moment, and Italy is on his radar. The Ornellaia was excellent, with a touch of that Italian designer leather to go with its earthy fruit 

  • 93p

Very dark crimson – even slightly purple. Doesn’t look terrifically mature. Very ripe and explosive on the nose. Broad and sweet and very obviously sweet Cabernet. Slightly dusty tannins on the finish. Not unlike a 1990 red bordeaux. Quite mineral. 13% CS:M:CF 82:14:4 78,000 bottles

  • 91p

82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Hot end to the growing season. Part fermented in wood, part in steel. Finished malo in barrel (40% new- they were more cautious then). 15 months in barrel, 16 months in bottle prior to release.
Some browning at the rim but rich red in the middle. Step change in aroma – the first wine with the marked undergrowth notes of older Bordeaux. Some liquorice too but also still has plum fruit and quite a bit of sediment. Now starting to dry out and the freshness reinforcing that dryness. But would probably still be good with food. But I would drink up. The acidity is kicking in. (JH)

  • 88p
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Information

Origin

Bolgheri, Tuscany

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Investment potential

Average

Fake factory

None

Other wines from this producer

La Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia

Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia

Le Volte dell'Ornellaia

Le Volte dell’Ornellaia

Masseto

Ornellaia Bianco

Poggio alle Gazze dell'Ornellaia

Inside Information

The grapes were destemmed and gently crushed and introduced partly into wooden fermentors and partly into stainless steel tanks. The period of fermentation and maceration lasted from 15-20 days. The wine was then racked and transferred to French oak barriques where it completed its malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged in French oak barriques from February, 1991 until April, 1992 (15 months). 40% of the barriques were of new French oak and 60% were once-used. This period was followed by a further 16 months in the bottle before release.

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Highlights

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