Now we're talking. Tasted from barrel, the 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia will be released in May 2019. This is a luxuriant wine with profuse abundance and beaming optimism. Both the 2015 and 2016 vintages are distinguished by the supple sweetness of the tannins, but the 2016 edition has just a hair more acidity. You don't necessarily taste that freshness, but it does contribute to the linearity and the framework of the wine. This is an iconic vintage for Bolgheri. The summer was dry and warm, and temperatures cooled down at harvest leading to optimal sugar and phenolic ripeness. […] This wine is generous and thickly layered. It delivers the most beautiful sensations of Softness, Succulence and Structure. The balance between those three S's is Sublime. Monica Larner
Such balance and finesse with power to this wine. Shows dried flowers, currants and minerals. Full body and firm and silk tannins. Love the texture. Umami character everywhere. Goes on for minutes.
Just bottled, the 2016 Ornellaia is a dense, powerful wine. Naturally, the 2016 is just at the beginning of its life, but I am struck by how polished the tannins are for such a young wine. Ornellaia is at its best starting around age ten, but there is little doubt the 2016 is a hugely promising wine. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, new leather and a range of spice notes all build into a veritable crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. Estate Manager Axel Heinz describes 2016 as a stress-free vintage in which there was no time pressure to pick. A healthy, clean crop allowed for standard vinification of 3-4 weeks on the skins at high temperatures, which is typical here.
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The medieval town of Bolgheri was originally made famous by the poet Giosuè Carducci who wrote about the stunning Cypress Avenue, a breathtaking and magical three mile long corridor of trees leading up to the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.