Ornellaia was founded in 1981 undergoing several changes of ownership until it was taken over by the Frescobaldi family in 2005.
Located near Bolgheri with around 192 hectares in total encompassing the vineyards, winery and the adjacent Bellaria property just North of Bolgheri. One of the driving forces of the Super Tuscan movement the estates Ornellaia, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is a seductive and evocative wine that has won much praise from wine critics and drinkers alike with its impressive colour, concentration and intensity of aroma and flavour. Other wines from the estate provide great quality also including the superb Le Serre Nuove and La Volte blends.
The early conditions of 2007 meant that everything started earlier than normal and lead to an early harvest. The later weather patterns evened out and provided the perfect finish to the vintage. The wine is complex, silky, with moderate tannin. Having hit its plateau it is drinkable now and will hold its peak for another 5-15 years easily. Serve with scotch fillet.
99 points Wine Enthusiast
98 points James Suckling
97 points Vinous
97 points Wine Spectator
95 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Located in the commune of Castagneto Carducci in Tuscany. Bolgheri’s Mediterranean climate paired with its soil types allow the red Bordeaux varieties to excel. A Decanter magazine tasting helped Bolgheri find international renown when a 6-year-old Sassicaia ‘Super Tuscan’ was ranked higher than a range of Bordeaux. Red wines may be up to 70% Sangiovese. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 80%, 80% Merlot, and other local red varieties, up to 30%.
The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.
Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.
When most people think of Central Italy they think of Tuscany. Not surprisingly because Chianti is an ocean of vineyards within the winegrowing region of Central Tuscany. Chianti produces more than 750000 hectolitres of wine each year. Tuscany’s wine history starts somewhere in the 8th-5th Century BCE when it was part of Etruria. Vernaccia from San Gimignano and reds from Montepulciano were known and loved before the Renaissance. The Tuscany we know now started in 19th Century with Chianti gaining the ascendancy. Brunello di Montalcino debuted in 1888 and the Super Tuscans took shape in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Beyond Tuscany there are the magically places of Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo and Umbria. Each place has its own history and personality that really deserve a night of their own. Better still, a few nights in situ.