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Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia 2012 is as expected; a deep ruby red. A very crisp, clean-edged bouquet features emphatic notes of wild berry fruit and sweet violets, with underlying hints of pungent spice and roast espresso bean. The palate is full-volumed with a good weight, yet at the same time displaying elegance and pedigree, with a velvet-smooth, glossy texture and up-front fruit. A lovely vein of acidity propels a near-endless finish, held taut and true by an exceptional charge of tannins, bringing the wine to a close on an intensely refreshing note.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Lots of ripe-blackberry, mineral and dark-chocolate character. Hints of rosemary and dark licorice as well. Full body with a dense, chewy mouthfeel and a long finish. It's very structured and powerful. Hints of walnut and chocolate on the aftertaste. Second wine of Ornellaia and what a wine. Try after 2019.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Bolgheri Le Serre Nuove is a voluptuous and generous wine that bursts forth with wild-cherry aromas, blackberry, crème de cassis, oak spice and smoke. The blend of grapes this year is 52% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 12% Petit Verdot. It awards pleasure and smoothness, thanks to its plump tannins and ripe fruit overtones. Le Serre Nuove shows the acidity and structure for ten years or more of cellar aging.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This full-bodied red manages to be concentrated and weightless at the same time. It opens with aromas of blue flower, wild berry and a whiff of espresso. The smooth, almost creamy palate delivers a black cherry core while notes of graphite, clove, ground pepper and cake spice add depth. It’s impeccably balanced, with velvety tannins and just the right amount of freshness.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
This is distinctive, with iron and mineral aromas and flavors up front, this red features plum, blackberry, tar and spice notes. On the austere side in the end, but this lingers well. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2028.
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Ornellaia

Ornellaia

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Ornellaia, 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.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

AMR39554_2012 Item# 135468