We are delighted to offer the drop dead gorgeous 2015 Ornellaia; the benchmark for all of the Super Tuscans from this knockout vintage.
Awarded a glowing 98 points by Italian critic Antonio Galloni, this lofty score puts it narrowly above its illustrious neighbours Guado al Tasso (96pts), Sassicaia (95pts), Sette Ponti’s Oreno (95pts) and Tua Rita’s Redigaffi (95pts) as one of the finest performers of the vintage across Tuscany.
Further to that it edges 2010 (97pts) as the greatest release of Ornellaia to date. For lovers of the Super Tuscans, this is simply a wonderful buy for the cellar.
More from Axel Heinz, Ornellaia's winemaker
After the unusual 2014, the 2015 vintage proved to be very regular, almost “textbook” like. After a normal, rainy, mild winter, with just a couple of days with temperatures below zero, the budding arrived on time in the first days of April. Spring was characterized by a dry and sunny weather, ideal conditions for a regular vegetative development, that culminated in a fast and complete blooming at the end of May. Starting in June, water stress gradually became an issue. July will be remembered as particularly scorching and dry, with maximum temperatures that exceeded 30°C every single day of the month. The heat, combined with the absence of rains, made us fear an interruption in the ripening process and possibly an early harvest. Luckily rain came around the 10th of August, with abundant precipitation allowed the grapes to continue ripening, also bringing a much cooler weather during the final stages. This cool yet sunny weather persisted throughout the harvest, allowing us to pick very slowly, waiting for every vineyard to arrive at the perfect point of ripeness, combining a fresh and lively aromatic quality with a perfect phenolic maturation with abundant yet silky and soft tannins. We began on the 29th of August with the Merlot, and ended on the 12th of October with the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
..wines of great vintages know how to impose themselves naturally, without force, their balance allowing them to shine without having to flaunt themselves. The 2015 vintage perfectly expresses this behavioural trait. Born during a particularly balanced harvest season, 2015 is certainly one of the great Ornellaia vintages. The usual intense colour indicates a wine of great texture and intensity, followed by a fruity scent that is ripe and fresh at the same time, emphasized by classic balsamic and spicy hints. On the palate it is rich, dense, and full-bodied, with an exceptional tannic texture, dense and velvety, of great refinement, that extends throughout the mouth. The long finish concludes with a feeling of firmness and finely spiced hints.
The unique "Il Carisma" labels were designed by South African artist, William Kentridge, inspired by the character of the 2015 vintage.
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