Ornellaia Ornellaia 2017
|Region||Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri|
A stunning wine, the 2017 Ornellaia offers a captivating interplay of richness and energy. Picking early was the key. Young vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc were harvested in August for the first time ever. In the glass, the 2017 offers up an enticing mélange of mocha, cedar, tobacco and licorice, with soft curves that add to its sensuality and allure. The 2017 is sumptuous and racy, as Ornellaias from warmer years tend to be, but it is not at all heavy or overdone. In a word: superb!
From a hot vintage in Bolgheri, the 2017 Ornellaia is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and the rest close to an even split of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that spent 18 months in French oak. It doesn't match the 2016, but it's a beautiful wine offering complex notes of red and black fruits, chocolate, roasted herbs, licorice, and dried earth. This carries to a full-bodied Ornellaia with a rich, concentrated mid-palate, ripe, mouthcoating tannins, and a great finish. It shows the dry, hot vintage yet stays lively and holds onto a sense of elegance. I followed this bottle for multiple days and it only improved with air. This is a beautiful, elegant Ornellaia that will evolve for 30-40 years or more.
This vintage of Ornellaia is called Solare and represents the 12th edition in the estate's Vendemmia d'Artista series featuring artwork by Tomás Saraceno. His beautiful art depicts a radiant sun halo and is intended as a symbol of sustainability. That theme of sunshine and warmth is particularly well suited to a vintage such as this. The Ornellaia 2017 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is generous and fruit-forward with dense richness and concentration all driven by the smaller and more compact berry size that characterizes this dry, hot growing season. Black and purple fruits segue to spice, tobacco, leather and some of those beautiful Mediterranean notes of black olive and wild sage. These various moving pieces work together in perfect harmony. The tannins are beautifully managed here. If you consider the more astringent and rougher approach of the mid-tier Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia, this wine shows a whole other level of magnificent tannic management that could not have been easy given the diminutive berry size. This vintage sees a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard soils are characterized by reddish sand with calcareous rock. The wine is fermented in both stainless steel and cement and is transferred over to barrique to finish malolactic fermentation. It ages in barrique for 18 months followed by another 12 months in bottle.
Though well-oaked, this features ample black cherry, plum and loam flavors to match the vanilla and sweet spice elements. Harmonious and accessible at this young stage, but will be better in a few years once the components harmonize. Vibrant and long. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2038.