Ornellaia  2018  Front Label
Ornellaia  2018  Front LabelOrnellaia  2018  Front Bottle Shot

Ornellaia 2018

  • JS97
  • D97
  • JD97
  • WS95
  • RP95
  • W&S95
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.2 16 Ratings
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4.2 16 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With its usual deep ruby-red color, Ornellaia 2018 features a lively and intense aromatic expression, a distinctive mark of the vintage. Red fruits, citrus notes, hints of liquorice and Mediterranean scrub combine to form its profile. With the first taste it is enveloping and all its components well-balanced: the tannins, both dense and silky in texture, fill the palate with elegance and precision. The finish is lifted by a distinct tangy vein that enhances the sensation of freshness and persistence.

Blend: 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 97
James Suckling
So aromatic and complex with blackcurrants, blueberries, fresh violets and lavender on the nose. Some graphite and iodine, too. Medium to full body with firm, chewy tannins that are polished and refined, yet the palate is so long and refined. This is an Ornellaia with strength in elegance. Try after 2025
D 97
Decanter
This is such a charismatic wine, abundant and packed full of flavour while refined and precise. The palate has barely-there tannins that glide across the tongue underpinned by milk chocolate, leather, almost-sour cherries, blackcurrants and liquorice spicing. Freshness and persistence balanced by density and silkiness. Fermentation in oak barrels 70% new and 30% once used, then transferred to barriques for 18 months. After the first 12 months of maturation the wine is assembled and returned to barriques for an additional 6 months before being bottled and aged again for 12 months prior to release. A blend of 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck

The 2018 Ornellaia is mostly Merlot but includes a solid amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It's a gorgeous wine that takes air to show at its best (and deserves bottle age), giving up a terrific array of red and black currants, cedar pencil, tobacco, iron, and savory herbs. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, incredibly well-balanced red that has building, ripe, polished tannins, perfectly integrated acidity, a great mid-palate, and one heck of a finish. While not a blockbuster in the exuberant, extroverted sense of the word, it has incredible intensity and depth, and this is a gem of a wine. It needs another 5-7 years to hit maturity and, I suspect, will evolve for 30-40 years.

WS 95
Wine Spectator
Complex, sophisticated and harmonious, this pure red is marked by black currant, black cherry, cedar, iron and light spice flavors. Bright and focused, with refined tannins emerging on the spice-tinged finish. Discreet and stylish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2040.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is complete and seamlessly stitched together with extreme care and precision. This is an almost technical blend of Merlot (at 50% of the blend for the first time), 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot that offers a true sense of wholeness and consistency that speaks to the blending expertise and experience of the winemaking team. Finding harmony among the various vinous components of the wine was especially important in this vintage that prized early-ripening grapes like Merlot over the others. Blackberry and dried cherry segue to spice, tar, campfire ash and more sweet fruit. We're off to a great start, and this vintage of Ornellaia is surely destined to flesh out and grow more complex with age.

W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
The 2018 Ornellaia is smooth and velvety, its plum and blackcurrant flavors enriched by layers of dark chocolate and warm spice. The flavors gain depth and richness with air, buoyed by cool acidity and tinges of fresh herbs. Polished and elegant, with impressive balance and intensity, it promises to be a long-lived version of this classic Bordeaux-style blend.
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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.

PBC9613295_2018 Item# 730737

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