Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore IGT 1999 750ml
RP 95/100 Antoni Galloni Nov 2007: "I was blown away by the 1999 Ornellaia. Still fresh and youthful, it reveals a powerful, authoritative personality in its layers of primary fruit, with its opulence beautifully balanced by its big yet polished tannins. Another year or two of bottle age is probably called for but readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this gorgeous wine. Given its considerable structure it should have no problem aging for another dozen years. In 1999 the blend consisted of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. 95/Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.
Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is without question one of Italy’s blue-chip properties. The gorgeous, sprawling estate is located in Bolgheri in Tuscany’s Maremma. On a recent visit I had the opportunity to taste a number of the estate’s wines with General Manager/Agronomist Leonardo Raspini and Oenologist Axel Heinz, including verticals of the estate’s top bottlings Ornellaia and Masseto.
Ornellaia is a Bordeaux-inspired blend consisting principally of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In 2003 a small percentage of Petit Verdot was introduced. The use of several varietals gives the winemaking team the luxury of being able to tailor the exact proportion of the blend to the specific strengths of a given vintage. Because the blend tends to vary from year to year in a vertical tasting Ornellaia shows many different facets of its personality.
After harvest the varietals are vinified separately. Fermentation and maceration lasts between 25-30 days after which the wines are moved into French oak barrels where they age for 12 months. The wines are then racked and assembled into the final blend, which spends an additional six months in barrel prior to being bottled. The percentage of new oak has risen from 50%, which was used for vintages 1997 and 1998, to 60% used in 1999, to the 70% the estate has employed since 2000."