Ornellaia, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2004
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The 2004 Ornellaia (magnum) has always been a beautiful wine, but stylistically it stands out quite a bit from other vintages of this era, something that is particularly evident in this tasting. The 2004 is perhaps the most delicate, feminine Ornellaia ever made. Silky tannins frame a perfumed core of ripe fruit all the way through to the sublime finish. The wine's inner fragrance, sweetness and balance are all impeccable. The 2004 remains one of my all-time favorite Ornellaias, and it is firing on all cylinders on this night. In 2004 the growing season was long and even, with a cool early summer and warmer late summer. Yields were on the high side, as the vines released the stored energy they had held in reserve from the previous year, which required the estate to aggressively green harvest in order to keep the plants in balance. The 2004 Ornellaia is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The relatively high percentage of Cabernet Franc may explain the 2004's gorgeous, vivid bouquet. The wine spent a total of 18 months in oak (70% new) prior to being bottled. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.
|Score: 95||Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, January 2010|
The gorgeous 2004 Ornellaia is a great way to start this tasting. A lively dark ruby, it is a vibrant effort bursting with expressive aromatics and layered, well-delineated fruit, showing much purity on the palate and closing with a long, finessed finish. Readers hoping to catch this wine’s full array of nuances will have to wait at least another few years as the wine remains quite primary today. This exquisite effort is not to be missed. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. 95/Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019. Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is without question one of Italy’s blue-chip properties. The gorgeous, sprawling estate is located in Bolgheri in Tuscany’s Maremma. On a recent visit I had the opportunity to taste a number of the estate’s wines with General Manager/Agronomist Leonardo Raspini and Oenologist Axel Heinz, including verticals of the estate’s top bottlings Ornellaia and Masseto. Ornellaia is a Bordeaux-inspired blend consisting principally of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In 2003 a small percentage of Petit Verdot was introduced. The use of several varietals gives the winemaking team the luxury of being able to tailor the exact proportion of the blend to the specific strengths of a given vintage. Because the blend tends to vary from year to year in a vertical tasting Ornellaia shows many different facets of its personality. After harvest the varietals are vinified separately. Fermentation and maceration lasts between 25-30 days after which the wines are moved into French oak barrels where they age for 12 months. The wines are then racked and assembled into the final blend, which spends an additional six months in barrel prior to being bottled. The percentage of new oak has risen from 50%, which was used for vintages 1997 and 1998, to 60% used in 1999, to the 70% the estate has employed since 2000
|Score: 95||Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, April 2007|
Dark ruby-purple in color, with complex aromas of dark chocolate, cola, vanilla, cedar and currant. Full-bodied yet ultrarefined, with dense, seamless, caressing tannins. Everything is in the right proportion. Superb. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best after 2009.
|Score: 97||James Suckling, Wine Spectator, October 2007|
Dark crimson with purple notes. Very ripe but with lively, savoury topnotes and lifted freshness. Great balance and approachability already. Funny to think of how even the finest 2013 red bordeaux would taste alongside this luscious wine. Scented and savoury. Pure hedonism. Not sure 'elegant' is the word I'd choose in a global context, but maybe it is appropriate in an Ornellaia context. Drink 2016-2026.
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, July 2016|
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