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Ornellaia 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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Winemaker Notes

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot

Born in a cooler than usual year, the aromatic complexity and freshness of the 2005 Ornellaia reflect the conditions of the harvest. The delayed harvest allowed us to obtain perfectly ripe tannins that are soft and silky. Deep ruby red in color, it has an elegant, complex bouquet with red and black berry fruit supported by underlying hints of tobacco and spice. On the palate the wine is full and enveloping, displaying a powerful, extremely elegant densely woven tannic structure that flows into a long fruity finish with balsamic overtones.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Displays beautiful aromas of ripe fruit, with currant, plum and blackberry. Complex and full-bodied, with soft, polished tannins and a long, long finish. This shows a deft hand in the winemaking. Best after 2012.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The medium-bodied 2005 Ornellaia shows plenty of delineation in its dark cherries, blueberries, spices, minerals and crushed rocks. The 2005 doesn't have the detail of the 2004 or the richness of the 2006, but it does offer notable finesse and clarity in an understated style for this wine. My impression is that this will be a relatively early-maturing vintage of Ornellaia, which is not a bad thing, considering the age-worthiness of the two vintages which surround it. In 2005 Ornellaia is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. It is a big success in this vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.
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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.

HOR025887_2005 Item# 95594