The 2015 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a dark, exuberant and opulent wine that is teeming with flavor, ripeness and extract. That said, there is also a note of impurity that I only really locked in on when I went back to taste the wine at different time intervals later in the day and the next. To be clear, it was there upon first examination, but then it blew off. And then it came back. That game of hide and seek proved distracting and puzzling. I wondered if it was cork or barrel, although it did not behave like any of those things, and my doubt is recorded by the question mark next to my score. Once you get past that little blemish, you are instantly aware of the beauty and depth of the vintage. The wine is savory in terms of aromas and sweet in terms of tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon flavors of dried blackberry, toasted espresso and cured tobacco play leading roles.
Pure, rich cherry and cassis fruit on the nose with a hint of dried fruit. There is lots of everything: concentrated fruit, grainy tannins and a perfect dose of acidity. Clearly stuff for the future, but can already be approached. (WS) Drink 2018-2030
The blackberry and blueberry aromas with fresh sage and bay-leaf character are impressive. Stone, graphite and mineral undertones. Full body and silky and refined tannins. Dusty. Elegance and polish. Shows greatness in strength and refinement. A dialed-in, dialed-back Ornellaia. Drink in 2022.
The 2015 Ornellaia is a dream wine with magnificent balance. All the elements are in the right place. In most vintages, Ornellaia needs time to fully come together, but the 2015 is just impeccable, even in the early going. The warm vintage notwithstanding, winemaker Axel Heinz crafted and Ornellaia is more about finesse and power. The potent, bruising tannins Ornellaia can show as a young wine are nowhere to be found. Bright raspberry jam, mint, white flowers and pomegranate are some of the many notes that punctuate the finish in a memorable Ornellaia that will go down among the great vintages produced at this reference-point estate. Drink 2023-2040
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is at the centre of the family of Super Tuscans. The established was in 1981 near the village of Bolgheri by Ludovico Antinori to rival his cousin's Sassicaia. This special area of the Tuscan coastline has the perfect maritime climate for growing Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Masseto is made from 100% Merlot, and its silky smoothness have marked it out as a modern classic.
The medieval town of Bolgheri was originally made famous by the poet Giosuè Carducci who wrote about the stunning Cypress Avenue, a breathtaking and magical three mile long corridor of trees leading up to the entrance to the village. Swept away to the coastal and most westerly area of Tuscany, Bolgheri has become synonymous with wines known as ‘Super Tuscans'. Composed of classic Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (intermixed with the occasional Sangiovese), the Super Tuscans began as mere experimentation in the 1960s and 70s. These international French varieties flourished in Bolgheri's warm, yet maritime climate which resulted in unexpected success and reknown. It is here that one finds such famous names as Ornellaia, Tignanello and Sassicaia.