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"Like people of great ‘Carisma’ (Charisma), wines of great vintages know how to impose themselves naturally, without force, their balance allowing them to shine without having to flaunt themselves. The 2015 vintage perfectly expresses this behavioural trait. Born during a particularly balanced harvest season, 2015 is certainly one of the great Ornellaia vintages. The usual intense colour indicates a wine of great texture and intensity, followed by a fruity scent that is ripe and fresh at the same time, emphasized by classic balsamic and spicy hints. On the palate it is rich, dense, and full-bodied, with an exceptional tannic texture, dense and velvety, of great refinement, that extends throughout the mouth. The long finish concludes with a feeling of firmness and finely spiced hints." – winemaker Axel Heinz, May 2017
Wine critic scores:
James Suckling 98
Wine Spectator 97
Antonio Galloni 98
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: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot
Artist label: William Kentridge, Ornellaia 2015 "Il Carisma"
Vintage: After the unusual 2014, the 2015 vintage proved to be very regular, almost “textbook” like. After a normal, rainy, mild winter, with just a couple of days with temperatures below zero, the budding arrived on time in the first days of April. Spring was characterized by a dry and sunny weather, ideal conditions for a regular vegetative
development, that culminated in a fast and complete blooming at the end of May. Starting in June, water stress gradually became an issue. July will be remembered as particularly scorching and dry, with maximum temperatures that exceeded 30°C every single day of the month. The heat, combined with the absence of rains, made us fear an interruption in the ripening process and possibly an early harvest. Luckily rain came around the 10th of August, with abundant precipitation allowed the grapes to continue ripening, also bringing a much cooler weather during the final stages. This cool yet sunny weather persisted throughout the harvest, allowing us to pick very slowly, waiting for every vineyard to arrive at the perfect point of ripeness, combining a fresh and lively aromatic quality with a perfect phenolic maturation with abundant yet silky and soft tannins. We began on the 29th of August with the Merlot, and ended on the 12th of October with the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
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 temperature- controlled 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.