51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot
Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak
Ornellaia is one of the foremost producers in the Bolgheri appellation on the coast of Tuscany. It is particularly known for making one of Italy’s most famous and expensive wines, which shares the same name.
This Bordeaux-style blend is one of the original Super Tuscans. It is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, instead of Tuscany’s most famous variety, Sangiovese.
The vineyard, which neighbors Sassacaia in Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region, enjoys gentle sea breezes, which mitigate the summer heat, and is sheltered by neighboring hills from cold winter winds. The soils are a complex mix of alluvial, volcanic and marine elements, providing a good base for the Bordeaux varieties planted here.
After hand-picking and careful selection – firstly by bunch and secondly grape by grape – each variety and each vineyard block is vinified separately in stainless steel tanks. Ornellaia is aged for around 18 months in oak, 70 percent of which is new.
The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping.
Jeb Dunnuck 98
James Suckling 98
Robert Parker 98
Wine Spectator 96