Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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. 2004 can be considered as one of the major expressions of Ornellaia and represents an excellent example of a classic vintage in Bolgheri. The ideal conditions during the growing season lead to a perfect combination of ripeness, flavor complexity and finesse. The velvety opulence of the Merlot is balanced out by the racy and elegant tannic structure of the Cabernets, which are further amplified by the small addition of Petit Verdot.
Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 25% Merlot; 12% Cabernet Franc; 3% Petit Verdot
Wine Spectator - "Number 7 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 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. 11,710 cases made"
The Wine Advocate - "The gorgeous 2004 Ornellaia is...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. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019."
Wine & Spirits - "Closed at first behind a wall of tannin, this needs several hours to reveal its full potential. While those tannins remain strong, the flavor of the fruit-perfectly ripened to flavors of fig and black cherries during a long, even growing season-is what powers the wine. Elegantly composed of 60 percent cabernet sauvignon, 25 percent merlot and lesser amounts of franc and petit verdot, the 2004 is a classic vintage of Ornellaia. Cellar this and watch it develop over the next 10 to 20 years."
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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 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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