“Ornellaia shows a level of sophistication and generosity that, frankly speaking, I did not expect from this vintage. This wine far exceeds my expectations and merits special attention.” Monica Larner.
It is with great pride that we announce the release of Ornellaia 2014. With its diverse topography and maritime influence, Bolgheri’s ability to produce world-class wine is undeniable. This reputation has driven global interest and Ornellaia acts as a flag bearer for the region. The wine is a vital component of any cellar.
Ornellaia’s power and generosity are artfully harnessed, allied to impressive detail and firm tension. The result is a viscerally thought-provoking proposition which simultaneously displays a joyful and deeply gratifying side to its character, offering indulgence and the purest pleasure. Axel Heinz and his team shape the house style each year with their profound understanding and interpretation of their exceptional terroir.
A Bolgheri Blend
Ornellaia is a sum of its parts (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot), where the whole is far greater. Nature offers new complexities each year and the different conditions influence the proportion of each variety and plots used to create the final blend. Each element is woven together to create a soothing level of harmony that can be found in only the finest music. There is no set formula, just a new recipe for each chapter designed to show the very best of the vintage.
The 2014 Vintage “What is particularly striking (in 2014) is the high quality of the tannins on the palate: silky, refined, without rough edges. This year represents the heart of the estate, Ornellaia’s ‘Essence’: its natural style, the exceptional quality of its terroir, and the competence of those who work in the vineyards and the cellar.” Axel Heinz.
The 2014 vintage saw some challenges in August as wet and warm weather increased the risk of disease. The vineyard team worked tirelessly through this storm by utilising meticulous canopy management before the final saving grace arrived, as it so often does, right at the end of the season. Perfect conditions in September and October allowed both Cabernet varieties vital extra hang-time allowing them to achieve perfect levels of ripeness. The more delicate Petit Verdot was perhaps the greatest beneficiary and reached optimum ripeness in October displaying a silkiness that often eludes this grape. These last two months enabled the final wine to achieve the right combination of structure and density, the very qualities that August had put at risk.
2014 Ornellaia, Bolgheri Doc Superiore
£560 per 6 Bottles In Bond £225 per Magnum In Bond £460 per Double Magnum In Bond £1,170 per Imperial In Bond
The 2014 Ornellaia is a genuine example of the art of blending. The wine has a delightful lifted dark fruit nose displaying layers of fragrance from the different component grapes, blueberry and sloes from the Petit Verdot, violets from the Cabernet Franc and some plum sweetness from the Merlot. The wine coats the mouth with surprising richness, but classic Ornellaia roundness. Fine tannins and dark fruits dominated by myrtle and blackberry combine with hints of mint and herbs, before a typically long finish. Drink from 2020 -2035
On Tuesday we were taken through the single vineyards of the estate to further our understanding of the terroir at Ornellaia. The seminar was led by Axel Heinz who brought nine different wines, each from separate plots across the estate and each a pure, single variety, to highlight the complexity of the component wines - effectively deconstructing and rebuilding the final blend.
Ornellaia vinifies each variety and plot separately for 12 months before assembling the final blend, which is then left to assimilate for a further 6 months before bottling.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the most important varieties at the estate, forming the backbone of both Le Serre Nuove and Ornellaia over the years. In 2014 however, Cabernet Franc and the late ripening Petit Verdot prospered in the sunny and dry conditions in October. Owing to these climatic conditions the final blend surprised even Axel and his team.
Cabernet Franc is realising its full potential and taking on a whole new shape in Bolgheri, basking in the light of the Tuscan sun and expressing a beguiling herbal quality matched with cassis and tobacco.
As a single variety, the tannins in Petit Verdot can sometimes be a little coarse. The delicate nature of the grape can struggle to find full ripeness without perfect conditions before harvest. In 2014, these conditions were met and tempered into the blend perfectly; offering surprising charm in addition to its density and gentle yet firm tannins. The Petit Verdot in 2014 reveals an aromatic lift of violets alongside more delectable qualities of black fruit and spice.