Ornellaia  2016  Front Label
Ornellaia  2016  Front LabelOrnellaia  2016 Front Bottle Shot

Ornellaia 2016

  • D98
  • RP98
  • JS98
  • JD98
  • WS96
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  • WE95
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.2 28 Ratings
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4.2 28 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2016 represents another immensely successful vintage highlighting all the virtues of Bolgheri’s climate: abundant sunshine without excessive heat, a dry summer to allow the grapes to achieve perfect ripeness and concentration, and just about enough rain to avoid stress. All these elements combine to yield a wine that shows lush ripeness and crisp firmness, opposing forces creating a certain raciness we like to describe as ‘tension’.

“A particularly dark and young colour is the prelude to a complex nose of black berries, spices and cedar. The palate is rich and dense, balanced by a refined and firm tannic structure, lifted by a juicy and bright acidity.” - Olga Fusari - Winemaker - July 2018

For the 11th edition of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista, it is the American artist Shirin Neshat that interprets the character of Ornellaia 2016 - “La Tensione” (tension); with her disruptive and poetic visual language, the photographer, filmmaker and video-artist alludes to this vintage’s dynamism and strength through the words of the illustrious 11th century Persian poet, Omar Khayyam.The artist has created a site-specific masterpiece for the Estate, customized a limited series of 111 large format bottles, and designed a special label that, a single example of which, will be found in each Ornellaia case containing 6 bottles of 750ml.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
D 98
Decanter
2016 is one of the best vintages ever in Bolgheri, classic in style and balanced. It has a 'great sense of the classics without denying the past, a fully-fledged, more modern wine,' according to Axel Heinz. Crimson and dense in colour, it's full of restrained, brambly fresh fruit, clove, nutmeg and a salty butteriness, combined with velvety, masked tannins on the palate. It is at perfect phenolic ripeness, supported by refreshing natural acidity balancing the 14.5% alcohol. This will last for decades.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping.
JS 98
James Suckling
An astoundingly vibrant, powerful and concentrated Ornellaia that has a wealth of intense dark cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of espresso, dark cocoa powder and cedar. The concentrated palate is framed in long, regal tannins that bring focus to the plush, ripe and fresh black cherries and dark plums. Extremely balanced. Best from 2025.
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
From a great vintage for Bolgheri, the 2016 Ornellaia is a classic blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot that was aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. Its saturated purple color is followed by a deep, beautifully concentrated yet primordial effort that offers serious intensity in its cassis, black cherry, graphite, bay leaf, forest floor, and spring flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and multi-dimensional on the palate, it has thrilling purity of fruit, ample tannins, and a great, great finish. This is a tour de force in red wine that needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades.
Rating: 98+
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Black currant, plum, cedar, lead pencil and toasty, spicy elements highlight this intense red. Muscular tannins line the extended finish, leaving a peppery impression. The parts are all there but need time to integrate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2043.
V 96
Vinous
Just bottled, the 2016 Ornellaia is a dense, powerful wine. Naturally, the 2016 is just at the beginning of its life, but I am struck by how polished the tannins are for such a young wine. Ornellaia is at its best starting around age ten, but there is little doubt the 2016 is a hugely promising wine. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, new leather and a range of spice notes all build into a veritable crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures.
Rating: 96+
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast

Cedar, French oak and cassis aromas follow over to the vibrant palate along with coconut and dried black cherry. Racy acidity lends energy and youthful tension while firm fine-grained tannins offer elegant support. It’s still young and primary so it give it time to fully develop. Drink 2024–2036.

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Ornellaia

Ornellaia

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Ornellaia, Italy
Ornellaia The Estate Entrance Winery Image

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.

Ornellaia has established itself among the iconic wine estates in Italy (and beyond). The estate is dedicated to producing charming and opulent wines, full of Mediterranean character and finesse, reflecting the estate’s unique terroir in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast. The combination of Bolgheri’s unique soils and growing conditions, and what can only be characterized as a total obsession with excellence, result in the world-class wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc that so many wine lovers across the world have come to cherish.

Ornellaia employs a full time team of 80 people whose passion and motivation make Ornellaia what it is today. No shortcuts in the part of the production are allowed and the details literally come down to a grape by grape basis. Wines are intently crafted to capture the character of each vintage, in all its complexity and facets. In fact, the character and intricacies of each individual vintage are so important to the estate that since vintage 2006, Winemaker and Estate Director Axel Heinz has identified a single word that captures the character of each vintage, and that word is interpreted by a contemporary artist who produces special labels and a site-specific work of art that remains part of the estate’s permanent collection.

In addition to its place among Italy’s iconic wines, Ornellaia is also an ambassador for the Bolgheri region, leading it to be recognized as one of Italy’s greatest winegrowing regions. It is their belief, and it is hard to argue, that Bogheri’s mild maritime climate and diversity of soils create wines as distinct, complex and pleasurable as any in the world.

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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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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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

YNG381022_2016 Item# 523179

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