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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Ornellaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

#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

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 96
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. 2,200 cases imported.
JS 96
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.
RP 94
Robert Parker's 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.
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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.

CGM25290_2011 Item# 131244