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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.
Ornellaia 2007: Born under the sign of ‘Harmony’ A perfect vintage: a silky Ornellaia, says winemaker Axel Heinz
Bolgheri (Livorno) – Tuscany, June 2010 - The word Harmony perfectly sums up the character of Ornellaia 2007. A vintage in which a series of circumstances all flowed in that direction. The word ‘harmonious’ applies first of all to the weather, which remained mild until the final days of the harvest, thus maximizing the aromatic complexity and finesse of a great DOC Bolgheri Rosso Superiore. The wine, recently released, is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (27%), Cabernet Franc (14%) and Petit Verdot (4%).
"It was precisely the last weeks before the harvest that made a slow, progressive ripening of the grapes for Ornellaia possible" - says Leonardo Raspini, General Manager and Agronomist of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia - "A ripening that concentrated aromas and polyphenols, with no traces of overripening."
During the spring, a few showers at precisely the right times, resulted in perfect vegetative growth of the vines, which were about ten days ahead of schedule, while the summer, which was hot and dry (except for a few thunderstorms in mid-August), slowed development, leading the harvest to fall at the normal time. The harvest began on 28 August with the Merlot, and finished with the Cabernet Sauvignon at the beginning of October.
"September laid the foundations for this vintage" - Leonardo Raspini adds - "a month of rare perfection, with abundant sunlight and temperatures that were never excessive and with almost no rain."
"The 2007 Ornellaia is intensely ruby red in colour" - comments Axel Heinz, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia's winemaker, adding - "with a palate which revolves around ripe fruit and freshness, with rich balsamic and spicy accents. Most striking of all are the velvety intense tannins, which are as smooth as silk."