Tenuta dell’Ornellaia’s Great Tuscan Wines
Since its inception in 1981, Italy’s Tenuta Dell’Ornellaia has established itself as a leading producer of “Super Tuscan” wines. The winery’s eponymous flagship, Ornellaia, is consistently ranked as one of the country’s (perhaps the world’s) best “Bordeaux blends,” while it’s single-vineyard Merlot, Masseto, has attained “cult wine” status.
But there’s more to Tenuta Dell’Ornellaia than this elite duo. Alex Belson, the estate’s Sales & Marketing Director, had a brief stopover in Toronto recently and took some time from her hectic schedule to give Tidings readers a more revealing look at the winery, it’s wines and projects in the works.
La Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Rosso 2006
The “second wine” of Ornellaia has much in common with it’s big brother though the fruit is sourced from younger vines. Intense cassis, smoke, mocha and mild vanilla on the nose with additional notes of mineral and new leather. Rich, perfectly balanced with sweet black currant flavours combined with mineral and a hint of tobacco. The finish is long and memorable. Note: the currently available 2008 vintage, while somewhat tight at this stage, will no doubt prove to be stellar in the long run. In fact, winemaker Axel Heintz feels that 2008 may be “the” vintage for this estate.
Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore 2007
Every once in a long while you have the pleasure of tasting a wine that simply makes you sit back and say, “wow.” Such is the case with the 2007 Ornellaia. Saturated ruby/purple in colour it sports a complex, ethereal nose suggesting exotic spices, cassis, blueberry, kirsch, wet slate, vanilla and smoky black olive. Dense, lush and mouthcoating, it shows seamless integration and a complex interplay between fruit, mineral and delicately balanced oak. It’s sort of like a classic Bordeaux that has taken a bit of a Mediterranean holiday to add some warmth to all the seriousness. As darn close to perfect as it gets.
Le Volte 2008
A blend of 50% Sangiovese, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2008 Le Volte offers an ideal introduction to the wines of Tenuta Dell’Ornelaia. Sweet dark plumb aromas combine with earth, leather, tar and mild iodine notes. Supple and round in the mouth with notes of vanilla and blackberry, it is smooth, polished and farily dense with chewy fruit, soft tannins and fruity/earthy finish.