2006 Ornellaia, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
Antonio Galloni - 31/08/2009
(Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - 06-Dec-2009)
(James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Oct-2009) Dark color, with loads of dark fruits on the nose, as well as licorice and berries. Hints of mint and cedar. Full-bodied, with refined yet chewy tannins and a ripe berry, coffee and chocolate aftertaste. New wood barrels shine through too. But all will come together with bottle age. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best after 2012. 12,080 cases made.
(James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Oct-2009)
About this WINE
Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is located in one of the world’s most exciting wine regions: Bolgheri. A breathtaking avenue lined by towering cypress trees leads inland from the Aurelia, the old Roman coastal road, up to the walls of Bolgheri’s medieval hamlet. From the village the view extends far out to sea and on a clear day the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago and Corsica can be seen.
The mild maritime climate and the lush Mediterranean vegetation leave an imprint upon the character of the wines. Tenuta dell’Ornellaia's unique territory guides all aspects of production: limited quantities to ensure maximum quality, attention to every detail, selective hand harvesting, microvinification and ageing.
Ornellaia is a Cabernet/Merlot wine blend. Masseto is made entirely from Merlot - it is a model of rich, silky elegance and has rapidly become a modern classic.
Bolgheri is a new DOC in the coastal Maremma region which first rose to prominence during the 1970s with the emergence of the so-called Super Tuscan wines like Ornellaia and Sassicaia. These new ventures had rocked the DOC establishment by using high proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, opting out of the DOC system and relabeling their wines as simply Vino da Tavola (table wine).
Having won universal acclaim and exchanging hands for unprecedented prices (higher even than Tuscany's finest examples), the authorities relented and awarded Bolgheri its own DOC. The actions of the Super Tuscans inspired a generation in Italy, even if some of the wines here have lost a little of their lustre since.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.
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The 2006 Ornellaia flows from the glass in a profound expression of ripe, dark fruit. With time in the glass layers of minerals, cassis, tar, sweet herbs and French oak emerge, adding further complexity. This harmonious Ornellaia combines the richness of the vintage with superb freshness and awesome balance. Today the wines sheer density almost manages to hide the tannins, but they are there, and the wine will ultimately benefit from a few years in the cellar. The 2006 Ornellaia is one of the highlights of this sensational Tuscan vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.
Antonio Galloni - 31/08/2009
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