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The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping.
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. 2026 - 2041
An astoundingly vibrant, powerful and concentrated Ornellaia that has a wealth of intense dark cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of espresso, dark cocoa powder and cedar. The concentrated palate is framed in long, regal tannins that bring focus to the plush, ripe and fresh black cherries and dark plums. Extremely balanced. Best from 2025.
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. The next vintage, 2017, threw many more curve balls and had vintners scrambling to achieve quality by resorting to severe fruit selection and low yields. 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. 2020 - 2040