Beautiful scent. Gorgeous milk chocolate, black cherry, tobacco and spice. Great persistence and power, but an effortlessly drinkable structure. Justifiably renowned! Has all the quality and complexity you would hope for. Very fine tannins will support long ageing. Excellent.
Drink 2016 - 2036
Richard Hemming MW, JancisRobinson.com (July 2014)
The 2011 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia lives up to the legacy of this important wine, thanks to its extreme intensity and skillfully crafted bouquet. The excellent quality of fruit stands clear, despite the heat of the vintage, with pristine notes of dark cherry, exotic spice and chocolate.
This expression of Ornellaia is composed of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. The results are nothing short of exuberant, and this vintage will reward both those who decided to drink it early and those who have the patience to wait.
The only slight ruffle in this otherwise gorgeous presentation is the 2011 tannin, which feels aggressive. Therefore, it's probably better to put the wine in your cellar.
Drink 2016 - 2030
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (October 2014)
With much concentration in this vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested at the end of September. Yields were below the average of 35-40 hl/ha at 29hl/ha. 'The 2011 was an oversize vintage, warm yet more balanced here on the coast. In theory, it has the balance for ageing,' says winemaker Axel Heinz.
The wine is full of sweet fruit, candied banana, leather and tobacco, with a nutmeg finish. It's youthful, mineral and savoury on the palate, showing velvety tannins with a grainy, ripe finish and some austerity for ageing.
Drink 2019 - 2040
Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter.com (February 2019)
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.
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 Blend
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.