VARIETY 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
CLIMATE AND HARVEST The 2010 growing season will be remembered for being one of the latest in recent years. From budbreak on, in fact, the growth stages were some 10 days behind normal, and that slow pace continued through to the harvest. A rainy spring was followed by a hot, dry summer, which favoured optimal development of the clusters. A few rain showers interrupted the harvest in September, but adequate dry, sunny periods allowed the fruit to fully ripen. Painstaking vineyard management, and careful leaf-pulling in particular, ensured that the grapes were sound and healthy. Cool nights encouraged fine development of aromatic compounds, with the grapes displaying remarkably crisp fruit and floral qualities. Picking began in mid-September and concluded on 12 October with the late-ripening varieties.
VINIFICATION AND AGING The clusters were hand-picked into 15-kg boxes and then graded and selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destemming, and finally soft-pressed. Each grape variety and single vineyard block was vinified separately. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26-30°C for one week, followed by 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. The malolactic fermentation took place primarily in oak barriques, 70% new and 30% once-used. The wine then remained in barriques, in Tenuta dell’Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellars for about 18 months.
After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine was assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 6 months. After bottling, the wine aged a further 12 months prior to release.
WINEMAKERS NOTES The 2010 vintage was among the coolest and latest-ripening in recent years and yielded one of the most elegant expressions of Ornellaia. A deep ruby hue announces remarkable complexity on the nose, releasing heady fragrances of dark wild berry, pungent spice, and smooth pipe tobacco. The palate is finesse par excellence, with silky tannins and bright, clean-edged fruit, crowned with a finish boasting impressively racy tannins.
Tasted May 2012