James Suckling 97The Real Review 97Decanter 97Review Score 97
Bolgheri

2018 Ornellaia DOC 1500ml

$1,136.00
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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. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
97 POINTS
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.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Huon Hooke - The Real Review

A wonderfully scented bouquet with flowers, especially violets, herbs and various red fruits, smoky-bacon from the oak, while the palate is very intense and focused, with terrific concentration and gravitas. It has tremendous vitality, line and seemingly endless length, as well as silky tannins. There's a litle of the cherry jam and eau de vie of the 2017, but a more Bordeaux-like shape. An outstanding wine. (51% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot. Aged 18 months in Bordeaux barriques, 70% new, 30% one year old)

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Georgina Hindle - 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.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Antonio Galloni MW - Vinous

The 2018 Ornellaia is an introvert at this stage. Medium in body, with terrific persistence and impeccable balance, the 2018 is not in any mood to show all its cards today. Hints of red berry fruit, mocha, spice, licorice and dried flowers emerge with a bit of coaxing. I won’t be surprised to see it put on weight with more time in bottle. There is certainly plenty to look forward to. Readers should expect a silky, aromatic Ornellaia in line with vintages such as 2004 that are more about finesse than raw power. This is the first time in which Merlot drives the blend in Ornellaia.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Jane Anson - Decanter

Closed but rippled with character, the wet stones that speak of minerality and juice, and a ton of liquorice root and red berry fruits. This is sweet through the attack and savoury on the finish, with silky tannins, no question of its complexity. Aromatics of rosemary and sage by the handful alongside raspberry leaf and charred leather as it opens fully in the glass. 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 70% new oak for ageing for 18 months, then a further 12 months in bottle before release.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Aldo Fiordelli - Decanter

Often seen as one of the most powerful wines from Bolgheri, and possibly too muscular up until the first decade of the 2000s, Ornellaia 2018 is lighter than usual - a fact which is the result of both the cooler vintage and a thoughtful style. In this vintage, Merlot is the prominent grape, reaching 51% of the blend. The nose is intoxicatingly fresh and full of spice, with restrained cassis, citrus, clove and black pepper, most likely benefitting from lighter extraction. Graphite minerality dominates the palate, together with sweet blond tobacco and dark fruits. The mid-palate shows good concentration, with crunchy, ripe tannins and brilliant acidity. A really great expression of Bolgheri, more focused on elegance than powerful. It perhaps has slightly less ageing potential - 20 years instead of 30 - yet it’s full of complexity. A blend of 51% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Expert Review
95 POINTS
Monica Larner - 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.

Expert Review
95 POINTS
Aldo Fiordelli - Decanter

Always an example of powerful wine not without grace, this year Ornellaia seems to be a graceful wine not without power. Intensely floral, with buttery notes, restrained cassis and depth of helichrysum and myrtle. Open-knit yet with balsamic notes, this 2018 vintage is ripe and smooth, with lighter extraction (a trend started in 2013) and moderate acidity. The red grape harvest began on the 31st of August with the Merlot and ended on the 8th of October with the later-ripening varieties.

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

“With its usual deep ruby-red colour, 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.” Olga Fusari - Winemaker - July 2020

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Winemakers Note

After several years in which winter seemed to be little more than a memory, 2018 brought a return to normal climatic conditions, with temperatures spending enough time below zero for the vines to begin their well-deserved winter rest. The spring will be remembered as one of the wettest in history, with three times the seasonal average rainfall and high temperatures in April. Despite late budbreak, the weather conditions and rapid growth of the shoots enabled the vines to catch up and bloom a week earlier than anticipated. For the entire month of May and – to a lesser extent – June, rainfall remained above average and it was only in July that we received some respite, with a warm and dry month. Veraison took place between the 22nd and 25th of July, and August was as hot as it had been the previous year, but slightly wetter. The sugars and acidity developed slowly, while the berries grew to larger dimensions thanks to the high level of water present in the soil. 

September was warm and dry. Temperatures were
higher than the seasonal average, but cooler nights enabled the vines to recover and preserve the aromas and acidity. The red grape harvest began on the 31st of August with the Merlot and ended on the 8th of October with the later-ripening varieties.
 

VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The clusters were hand-picked into 15 kg crates and then selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and
after destemming, and finally softly crushed. In 2016, optical sorting has been introduced in addition to manual selection,
in order to further increase the quality of selection. Each grape variety and single vineyard block were vinified separately.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at temperatures between 26 and 30°C for one week,
followed by maceration for about 15 days, for a total time in the vat of about three weeks. The malolactic
fermentation took place mainly in oak barrels, 70% new and 30% once used. The wine then remained in barriques,
in Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellars for about 18 months. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine
was assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 6 months.After bottling, the wine aged a further
12 months prior to release.
Axel Heinz - Estate Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Delivery Details

Marketplace Product: Dispatch from Sydney warehouse in approximately 10 business days. Vintages for Marketplace items are subject to change, and we cannot guarantee the specific vintage you ordered will be delivered. Generally, the latest available vintage will be delivered to you.


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