Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Ripeness and elegance are the two qualities that can best describe Ornellaia 2009. Born from a vintage which began cool then turned hot, it was necessary to take painstaking care during harvest in order to preserve the grapes' crisp acidity and aromatic complexity. The wine's fragrances are generous and cleanly-defined, with rich, well-ripened fruit, complemented by chocolate and balsamic notes of aromatic herbs. On the palate, silky-smooth and spacious, with glossy tannins. A lively, refreshing acidity lifts a lingering finish.
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Ornellaia caresses the palate with layers of seamless, radiant fruit. Sweet red berries, mocha, flowers, new leather and spices are some of the many notes that are layered in this sumptuous, totally beautiful wine. The 2009 stands out for its silky tannins and phenomenal overall balance. This is one of those wines that will probably enjoy a long drinking window. There is little question the ability to blend grape varieties was a huge help in this vintage. In my opinion, that is the main reason Ornellaia is a slightly more complete wine than Masseto in 2009. In one of my blind tastings, the 2009 made a very eloquent case for itself as the wine of the vintage. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. In 2009 winemaker Axel Heinz used the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc ever in Ornellaia and gave the wine less time in oak, both with the goal of preserving as much freshness as possible. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029. "
James Suckling - "Full and juicy with black pepper and spice aromas and flavors. Very intense. Powerful but not heavy with lots of structure and backbone. The 25% of Petit Verdot in the blend gives the spicy character. Wait and see."
Wine Spectator - "Very aromatic, featuring floral and leafy black currant scents that follow through to plum, iron and tar flavors. Bordeaux-like with a supple texture, yet also firmly structured, offering herb and spice notes on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Multidimensional aromas of blackberry, iron, Oriental spices and cedar. Very intensely flavored and suave, with a wonderfully silky texture over a firm underlying structure. A hint of eucalyptus provides lift on the extremely long finish, which features building tannins and a violet nuance. This is a remarkably suave Ornellaia, but it seems a little less concentrated than usual and comes across as almost too polished. Maybe all it needs is a little time to put on more weight and develop greater complexity.
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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.