ORNELLAIA 2016 ‘LA TENSIONE’ - BOLGHERI DOC SUPERIORE ROSSO (Special Artist Label)
The desire to nurture the estate’s exceptional qualities has shaped Ornellaia’s philosophy since the beginning. Ornellaia is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot and the faithful expression of unique terroir developed in harmony with nature.
WINEMAKER TASTING NOTES
51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
“2016 represents another immensely successful vintage highlighting all the virtues of Bolgheri’s climate: abundant sunshine, without excessive heat, a dry summer to allow the grapes to achieve perfect ripeness and concentration, and just about enough rain to avoid stress. All these elements combine to yield a wine that shows lush ripeness and crisp firmness, opposing forces creating a sense of dense raciness we like to describe as “tension”.”
Axel Heinz – Estate Director
2016 is one of the best vintages ever in Bolgheri, classic in style and balanced. It has a 'great sense of the classics without denying the past, a fully-fledged, more modern wine,' according to Axel Heinz. Crimson and dense in colour, it's full of restrained, brambly fresh fruit, clove, nutmeg and a salty butteriness, combined with velvety, masked tannins on the palate. It is at perfect phenolic ripeness, supported by refreshing natural acidity balancing the 14.5% alcohol. This will last for decades.
From a great vintage for Bolgheri, the 2016 Ornellaia is a classic blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot that was aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. Its saturated purple color is followed by a deep, beautifully concentrated yet primordial effort that offers serious intensity in its cassis, black cherry, graphite, bay leaf, forest floor, and spring flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and multi-dimensional on the palate, it has thrilling purity of fruit, ample tannins, and a great, great finish. This is a tour de force in red wine that needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades.
The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the