x
  • Country ranking ?

    131
  • Producer ranking ?

    21
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

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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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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is complete and seamlessly stitched together with extreme care and precision. This is an almost technical blend of Merlot (at 50% of the blend for the first time), 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot that offers a true sense of wholeness and consistency that speaks to the blending expertise and experience of the winemaking team. Finding harmony among the various vinous components of the wine was especially important in this vintage that prized early-ripening grapes like Merlot over the others. Blackberry and dried cherry segue to spice, tar, campfire ash and more sweet fruit. We're off to a great start, and this vintage of Ornellaia is surely destined to flesh out and grow more complex with age.

The 2018 vintage offers a unique perspective on the wines of Bolgheri, and nowhere is this more evident than the property that houses two powerhouse brands, Masseto and Ornellaia, just off the scenic via Bolgherese at the heart of this dynamic appellation located on the shores of northern Tuscany. Two of Italy’s most important wines are coming online. The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is being released now and the 2018 Masseto will hit the market later this year in October. We also have the 2018 Ornellaia Bianco (released now), the 2019 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia (to be released in September) and the other wines from the Ornellaia program coming soon. The number two wine in the Masseto program, the 2019 Masseto, will be available in the fall. The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia sees a historically high percentage of Merlot in the blend. That grape makes up 50% of the wine, with 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and tiny percentages of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. “The Merlot in 2018 was a big surprise, and we thought that a little meat was missing on the bones of the Cabernet Sauvignon,” he says. The Merlot harvest lasted about three weeks, starting at the end of August and lasting until September 25. The estate has various plots of the grape with different conditions and ripening dates and that explains the long harvest window. The percentage of Merlot in the 2018 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is also greater. The 2019 vintage represents a return to a more classic Bolgheri taste profile with greater fruit weight, structure and soft tannins. The spring season saw cool weather and rain, causing a two-week delay in the growing cycle. The temperatures warmed up considerably by June, and those delays were quickly overcome. Harvest started the second week of September and lasted until October 4th. The teams at Masseto and Ornellaia are working toward a sustainability certification with a 360-degree approach aimed at bottle glass weight, renewable energy, recyclable packaging, solar energy and making sure that outsourced suppliers comply to the in-house sustainability protocols. Recent changes in 2019 have been made to reduce bottle weight across many of the wines including the Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia. The special bottle used for Masseto, based on a unique design and special mold, is quite heavy by today’s standards. Axel does not exclude that the Masseto bottle could also be revised.

  • 95p

Ruby. Blackberries, anise, spices, detailed, fruit driven nose, intense. Floral high notes. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, anise, liquorice, detailed and intense, bit high alcohol, long finish. 94

  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Bolgheri, Tuscany

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

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