2018 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia La Grazia Bolgheri DOC 0.375ltr
Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista honors the uniqueness of each new vintage from Ornellaia. Every year since May 2009, the release of Ornellaia 2006, a contemporary artist creates a work of art and a series of limited edition labels, inspired by the word chosen by the winemaker to describe the character of the new vintage.
The Belgian artist Jan Fabre created the unique labels for the 13th Vendemmia d'Artista. The artist has chosen to describe the character of La Grazia through symmetry, proportion and harmony, expressed in the nobleness of wine. The flamboyance of nature is captured and blended into a balanced juxtaposition of elements and represents its divine touch through iconographic symbols of great spirituality.
The Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore Rosso LA GRAZIA has, in addition to the recognizable deep ruby red color, a lively and aromatic expression, which is a distinguishing feature of this vintage. Red fruit, citrus notes, hints of licorice and Mediterranean scrub together form the profile of the wine. At the start, all the nicely balanced elements unfold: the tannins, both firm and silky in structure, fill the palette with elegance and precision. A lingering spiciness elevates the finish, enhancing both freshness and length. The La Grazia is Ornellaia's 33rd vintage.
After several years in which winter seemed to be nothing more than a memory from the past, 2018 brought normal climatic conditions, with enough days of sub-zero temperatures to give the vines their well-deserved winter rest. Spring was one of the wettest on record, with precipitation three times the multi-year average and high temperatures in April. Despite the late emergence of the buds, flowering started a week earlier than expected, thanks to the weather conditions and the rapid growth of the shoots.
The entire month of May and – to a slightly lesser extent – June rainfall remained well above average. Only in July did the weather calm down, with dry and warm days. The veraison took place between July 22 and 25 and in August it was about as hot as in 2017,
but slightly wetter. The sugars and acidity in the grapes developed slowly, while the size of the grapes increased, thanks to the amount of moisture in the soil.
September was also warm, but drier than the previous month. Temperatures were above average, but the cooler nights allowed the vines to settle down and preserve the aromas and acidity.
The harvest of the blue grapes started on August 3 with Merlot and ended on October 8 with the later-ripening grape varieties.
The hand-picked clusters were collected in 15 kg boxes, and sorted by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destalking, and finally crushed gently. Since 2016, an optical selection has been introduced, in addition to the manual selection, to further increase the quality of the selection.
Each grape variety and each unique block of vineyards is vinified separately. The fermentation took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at a temperature between 26 and 30°C for one week, followed by about 15 days of maceration. For the malolactic fermentation oak barrels were used, 70% of them new and 30% used once before. The wine matured for 18 months in the barriques, in the temperature-controlled cellars of Ornellaia. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine is assembled, after which the wine rests for 6 months in the barriques. After bottling, this wine matured for another 12 months before being released.
In recent years there has been a lot of fake on the market of established top houses from France, Italy and Spain, among others. Grandcruwijnen only buys from the wineries or the official importers. Be very wary of offers "too good to be true" You run the risk of having a fake bottle with a completely different content. Even though this is a real bottle you never know what journey a bottle has been on. Wines can sometimes be in motion for a year and eventually arrive at you from warm truck, sea container and unconditioned wineries.
Since 2001, every bottle of Ornellaia, regardless of size, has the ORNELLAIA brand name embossed on the bottom of the bottle. From the year 2011, an authentication seal is affixed to all bottles of Ornellaia before shipment by the estate. This seal contains information related to the specific bottle in question, which is registered in a database that is accessible to consumers.
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Lodovico Antinori already had a head start at birth. The Antinoris have been among the Florentine merchant nobility for centuries and already joined the wine buyers' guild in 1385. Since then, there has always been one member of the family in the wine trade. The family estates in Tuscany were greatly expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries and the family gained a lot of experience in the winery. At the beginning of this century, she founded an influential trading company. Marquis Lodovico worked for a while in the family business, but decided to go his own way in the early 1980s. He created an extensive vineyard on Tenuta dell'Ornelllaia, a family estate in Bolgheri on the Mediterranean, 96 km from Florence.
This part of the Maremma not only has a beautiful wild nature, but is also a fertile agricultural area, a region with great potential for wine production. Lodovico's uncle, Marquis Incisa della Rochetta, had already drawn Bolgheri's attention to the wine world with his pioneering work on Tenuta San Guido and with his Sassiciaia, now regarded as one of the world's greatest red wines.
Lodovico Antinori followed in his uncle's footsteps in nearby Ornellaia, although he makes a completely different type of wine. He learned from a number of international wine authorities that the character of the Bolgheri soil resembled that of St.-Émilion and Pomerol in Bordeaux was ideal for the production of quality wine. The special feature of the Ornellaia vineyard - for Italian standards - is the high percentage of merlot. The assembly for Antinori's top wine, the red Ornellaia, contains 40% merlot. However, this grape comes into its own best at the vigna veccia (old vines) of the winery. Since 1987, this plot has supplied the raw material for a 100% Merlot cuvée called the Masseto. The grapes for this wine have been picked under a sunny September sky. After the long fermentation of 18-20 days, the wine is naturally transferred to tanks. After which a maturing process in new Barriques. The result is a wine with structure, very pure fruit and a beautiful balance.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Winery||Tenuta dell Ornellaia|
|Grape||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese|
|Drinking as of||2023|
|James Suckling rating||97|
|Tasting Profiles||Complex, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Indruk maken, Lekker luxe|