x
  • Country ranking ?

    316
  • Producer ranking ?

    27
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now-2030
  • Food Pairing

    Roast lamb served medium-rare

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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Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines reviewed over the previous 12 months and select our Top 100, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. This annual list honors successful wineries, regions and vintages around the world.

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia 1998 was the Wine of the Year in 2001

A cool and sleek Tuscan red, with tarragon and fresh sage aromas, blackberry and cherry undertones. Full-bodied, with a wonderfully silky palate of fine tannins and a long, fruity finish. Very sophisticated and reserved. Best after 2004. 13,330 cases made. —JS

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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

“One of the hallmarks of wine, like people, is its originality, and each growing year exhibits a personality that renders a wine from that year truly unique. Within the overall Ornellaia style, we take much effort in identifying, highlighting, and consolidating in the wine the distinctive qualities of each vintage,” says Axel Heinz, winemaker and Director of production of ORNELLAIA.

ORNELLAIA’s philosophy considers the birth of the wines to be the truest expression of their terroir. The grapes for Ornellaia are selected by hand, and picked in the estate's vineyards in Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast. The varying natures of the estate's terroirs, marine, alluvial and volcanic, are ideal for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc ad Petit Verdot. The Estate extends over 97 hectares along the Tuscan coast, just a short distance from the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri and the famed cypress-lined avenue ‘Viale dei Cipressi’. The constant work of the team and the ideal microclimatic and geological characteristics have led the wines, in just twenty years. -- 1985 was the first vintage of Ornellaia -- to enjoy great international success. In 2001 the 1998 Ornellaia was declared Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator. In 2011 the German ‘Der Feinschmecker’ assigned Ornellaia its most sought-after award, the ‘Weinlegende’.
Ornellaia has received considerable recognition also in the national press, and is consistently ranked among the top estates by the Italian Wine Guides, including Gambero Rosso, Espresso, Veronelli, Duemilavini AIS, and Luca Maroni.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

This one was a modern left turn with rich vanilla, cream and black fruits, and a touch of yeast and natural gas. There was a distinctive cardboard edge, which is usually a negative, but strangely enough in this case it was a positive, so I adjusted my descriptor to be Christmas day cardboard. There were nice dusty flavors (desert action) to its meaty palate with black fruits, leather and earth. However, this was definitely a wine that was more winemaking than terroir. Blair picked up on .

  • 93p
1998 Ornellaia Youthful but complex nose that gives you liqueur like cherry, dark plum and creme de cassis and layers of spices, tobacco, chocolate and coffee. Excellent nose Full bodied with very smooth, sweet, sexy fruit that's very liqueuresque with cassis, plums, dark cherries, tobacco, coffee and sweet chocolate. Despite its sweetness of fruit the wines manages to stay balanced with its persistent but smooth tannins which extends into the very long finish. Top Ornellaia! 94p Drink now-2025
  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Bolgheri, Tuscany

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Best buy

Investment potential

No Potential

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

Highlights

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