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“What appeared to be a disadvantage for the 2013 vintage – late budding and flowering – proved to be a major advantage thanks to a warm summer and month of September offering textbook conditions for harvesting, with cool temperatures but a prevalence of sunny weather. This resulted in slow but complete ripening with great balance and a delightful aromatic quality, which we like to define as “Elegance”. Ornellaia 2013, with its dense, vibrant colour, has a nose of splendid aromatic complexity built around a limpid and brilliant fruitiness, underscored by refined spicy and balsamic notes. The mouth develops vibrant and complex fruity nuances framed by a dense, slender structure with tannins that attain a rare harmony between firmness and fleshiness, concluding with a long balanced and fresh finish.” – Axel Heinz, May 2015
Wine critic scores:
Wine Advocate 96
Wine Spectator 93
James Suckling 98
Antonio Galloni 96
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.
Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot
Artist label: Yutaka Sone Ornellaia 2013 "L'Eleganza"
After a dry 2012, winter 2013 was characterised by mild but very rainy weather, which caused a delay in budding of up to 15 days. The cold and rain also led to irregular and very long flowering – with a two-week delay compared to the average – which reduced production and resulted in uncoordinated development of clusters. Fortunately the summer, which arrived punctually at the end of June, was perfect, dry and sunny, but with a few peaks of intense heat in July and August. The slow vegetative development was ultimately beneficial because it deferred ripening until after the hottest period. The storms of August significantly lowered the temperatures, especially at night, which favoured aromatic expression, but led to a later than average harvest, between 9 September and 14 October, with mainly sunny weather without excessive heat.
Winemaking: The clusters were hand-picked into 15-kg boxes and then selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destemming, and finally softly crushed. Each grape variety and single vineyard block was vinified separately. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26-30°C for two week, followed by 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. The malolactic fermentation took place mainly in oak barrels, 70% new and 30% once-used. The wine then remained in barriques, in Ornellaia’s temperaturecontrolled cellars for about 18 months. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine was assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 6 months. After bottling, the wine aged a further 12 months prior to release.