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Ornellaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's 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.
JS 96
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.
WS 94
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.
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Ornellaia

Ornellaia

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Ornellaia, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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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.

Bolgheri

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An outstanding wine region made famous by Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, who planted Cabernet Sauvignon vines for his own consumption in 1940s on his San Guido estate, and called the resulting wine, Sassicaia. Today the region’s Tuscan reds are based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which can be made as single varietal wines or blends. The local Sangiovese can make up no more than 50% of the blends. Today Sassicaia has its own DOC designation within the Bogheri DOC appellation.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

YNG355761_2009 Item# 120929