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Ornellaia Le Volte 2012

Other Red Blends from Italy
  • JS91
  • RP90
13.5% ABV
  • WS92
  • JS92
  • JS92
  • JD90
  • D92
  • JS90
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2012 has given us a superb example of Le Volte dell'Ornellaia. The warm but not excessively-hot season favored ideal ripeness levels in the fruit. The wine appears its classic rich hue, and boasts a bouquet that is generously fruity and subtly spiced. The elegant, silk-smooth tannins are immediately impressive, beautifully complemented by a vibrant, refreshing acidity.

Blend: 50% Merlot, 30% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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JS 91
James Suckling
Dried meats, fennel, spices and mineral, with a firm acidity and chewy tannins. Greenish and austere now; will allow access in late 2015.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Le Volte is 50% Merlot with 30% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a lovely personification of Tuscan ideals that is redolent of red cherry, Mediterranean herb, black pepper and tilled earth. Dusty mineral nuances give the wine sharpness and definition. The tannins are silky and dry.
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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.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

RPT55100410_2012 Item# 130956