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Ornellaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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Winemaker Notes

What appeared to be a disadvantage for the 2013 vintage – late budding and flowering – proved to be a major advantage thanks to a warm summer and month of September offering textbook conditions for harvesting, with cool temperatures but a prevalence of sunny weather. This resulted in slow but complete ripening with great balance and a delightful aromatic quality, which we like to define as "Elegance." Ornellaia 2013, with its dense, vibrant color, has a nose of splendid aromatic complexity built around a limpid and brilliant fruitiness, underscored by refined spicy and balsamic notes. The mouth develops vibrant and complex fruity nuances framed by a dense, slender structure with tannins that attain a rare harmony between firmness and fleshiness, concluding with a long balanced and fresh finish.

Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
Amazing graphite and violet aromas with dark fruits. Medium to full body, ultra-velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Formed and tight. I love the fresh ginger underneath it all. This has a cool profile to the wine. So approachable yet this has wonderful length.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This wine will be released in May 2016. The 2013 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is an integrated and seamless blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Alex Heinz tells me that 2013 was a difficult vintage especially towards the early part of the growing season. It balanced out during the summer and allowed for steady ripening of fruit before the harvest. But 2013 was not as hot as 2011 and 2012 overall, and this edition of Ornellaia is beautifully tonic and shapely as a result. The bouquet is very developed in terms of aromas this year with beautiful notes of dark fruit, tobacco and spice. Those perfumes are just gorgeous. The mouthfeel is similarly intense with tannins that are still young, but are already silky and linear in nature. This vintage promises a long aging future.
D 95
Decanter
The 2013 vintage was scorching hot in the summer, but August storms delayed the ripening and the grapes were harvested two weeks later than the 2011 and 2012. ‘This slow vegetative development favoured aromatic expression’, comments Heinz. The 2013 has lots of top notes of creamy oak spice and dark berried fruit. A soft and round first impression evolves into a rich, but not heavy, wine with a gentle appeal and a nuanced palate of green peppercorn, tobacco spice, lively redcurrant and vanilla. It has a suave and energetic personality.
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck

The inky colored 2013 Ornellaia is made from 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It was brought up in 70% new French oak, with the balance in once-used barrels, aged 18 months before bottling. Cassis, blackberries, graphite, toasty oak, and licorice notes all flow to a full-bodied, concentrated, structured 2013 that has beautiful purity and elegance, building tannin, and a great finish. It’s a beautiful wine that’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and shine for 10-15 years.

Rating: 95+

WS 93
Wine Spectator
Vanilla, toast and smoke notes shade the black cherry and plum aromas, while the spicy oak theme carries over on the palate. A brash style that shows fine balance, but this will require time to find equilibrium. Best from 2018 through 2029.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, this opens with aromas of red currant, fragrant purple flower and exotic spice. The currant aroma carries over to the austere palate along with cranberry, chopped herb and French oak. With its backbone of firm acidity and assertive close-grained tannins, it already boasts finesse but will need years to soften and develop. Drink 2021–2028.
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Ornellaia

Ornellaia

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Ornellaia, 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.

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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.

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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.

TON83403A_13_1PK_2013 Item# 157039