2015 Ornellaia (OWC)
Vintage : 2015
Country : Italy
Region : Tuscany
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.
Ornellaia is one of the foremost producers in the Bolgheri appellation on the coast of Tuscany. It is particularly known for making one of Italy's most famous and expensive wines, which shares the same name.
This Bordeaux-style blend is one of the original Super Tuscans. It is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, instead of Tuscany's most famous variety, Sangiovese.
The vineyard, which neighbors Sassacaia in Tuscany's coastal Maremma region, enjoys gentle sea breezes, which mitigate the summer heat, and is sheltered by neighboring hills from cold winter winds. The soils are a complex mix of alluvial, volcanic and marine elements, providing a good base for the Bordeaux varieties planted here.
After hand-picking and careful selection – firstly by bunch and secondly grape by grape – each variety and each vineyard block is vinified separately in stainless steel tanks. Ornellaia is aged for around 18 months in oak, 70 percent of which is new.
The company was founded in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori, with the first vintage in 1985. From 2002 to 2005 the estate was co-owned by Robert Mondavi and Marchesi De Frescobaldi but, since 2005 Frescobaldi has owned it outright. Michel Rolland has been the consultant winemaker since 1991.
98 points James Suckling
The blackberry and blueberry aromas with fresh sage and bay-leaf character are impressive. Stone, graphite and mineral undertones. Full-bodied and silky and refined tannins. Dusty. Elegance and polish. Shows greatness in strength and refinement. A dialed-in, dialed-back Ornellaia. Drink in 2022. (9/2018)
98 points Vinous
The 2015 Ornellaia is a dream wine with magnificent balance. All the elements are in the right place. In most vintages, Ornellaia needs time to fully come together, but the 2015 is just impeccable, even in the early going. The warm vintage notwithstanding, winemaker Axel Heinz crafted and Ornellaia is more about finesse and power. The potent, bruising tannins Ornellaia can show as a young wine are nowhere to be found. Bright raspberry jam, mint, white flowers and pomegranate are some of the many notes that punctuate the finish in a memorable Ornellaia that will go down among the great vintages produced at this reference-point estate. Drink through 2040. (AG) (4/2018)