Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2011
Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
#65 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014
The sun-filled, early-maturing 2011 vintage perfectly expresses the qualities of Ornellaia. The wine appears an intense, youthful fruit that is fully ripe yet at the same time crisp and lively, backgrounded by delicate nuances of balsam and toastiness. On the palate, the powerful concentration immediately impresses, as do the tannins, massive yet silksmooth and glossy, which allows the wine to completely fill the mouth but with no feeling of heaviness. The finish, near endless, is deliciously pungent and spicy, with a welcome crispness throughout.
51% Cabernet Sauvignon - 32% Merlot - 11% Cabernet Franc - 6% Petit Verdot
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Another dark, intense wine, the 2011 Ornellaia boasts superb depth, richness and power. Here, too, the 2011 has tightened up quite a bit over the last six months. Today, the searing tannins are quite prominent, giving the 2011 an element of gravitas and muscle that argues for cellaring. How long? I am not sure, but the 2011 is built for the long haul. Savory herbs, new leather, menthol and cloves resonate on the huge finish."
Wine Spectator - "A dark and inky red, featuring violet, black currant, cedar, sandalwood and iron aromas and flavors. Nonetheless, this comes across as elegant, even as the tannins prove formidable on the finish. A terrific young wine in the making. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2017 through 2035."
James Suckling - "This shows incredible concentration with dark-berry, dark-chocolate, mint and rosemary character. Full body with a superb depth of fruit and polished tannins. It's chewy but caressing. This needs at least four or five years to come around. Powerful and intense. Yet it remains fresh and bright."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia lives up to the legacy of this important wine, thanks to its extreme intensity and its skillfully crafted bouquet. The excellent quality of fruit stands clear, despite the heat of the vintage, with pristine notes of dark cherry, exotic spice and chocolate. This expression of Ornellaia is composed of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. The results are nothing short of exuberant and this vintage will reward both those who decided to drink it early, as well as those who have the patience to wait. The only slight ruffle in this otherwise gorgeous presentation is the 2011 tannin that feels a touch aggressive. For that reason, its probably better to put the wine aside in your cellar."
Wine Enthusiast - "Another impressive effort from the celebrated Ornellaia estate. it opens with aromas of black berries, plum, blue flower and hints of balsamic herbs. The rich palate delivers a core of fleshy black cherry accented with notes of licorice, black pepper and mocha alongside bracing but refined tannins. It’s still young so give it time to fully develop."
International Wine Cellar - "Fully saturated ruby. Reticent aromas of deep black fruits and spices complemented by menthol, grilled herbs and vanillin oak. Dense, sweet and powerful but still quite primary, conveying a distinctly high pitch to its ripe black cherry, violet and coffee flavors. Finishes saline, tannic and very long, with impressive muscle and noteworthy medicinal reserve. A huge but very successful Ornellaia that I would have scored even higher had it showed even more length. 94+"
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Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Winery
In 1981, Marchese Lodovico Antinori breathed new life into Tenuta dell' Ornellaia, an estate whose potential had been ignored for decades. With the help of Andre Tchelistcheff, the famous agronomist, Antinori planted the first French vines in Bolgheri, which lies in the heart of Tuscany's coastal region, Maremma. The estate yields some of the finest Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in Tuscany. In 2002, Marchesi de' Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi became owners of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, which is now owned exclusively by Marchesi de' Frescobaldi. View all Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.