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Ornellaia
VARIETY   51% Cabernet Sauvignon - 32% Merlot - 11% Cabernet Franc - 6% Petit Verdot

CLIMATE AND HARVEST   After a significantly delayed 2010 vintage, 2011 was marked by very hot, dry weather, which brought on an earlier than average harvest. A rainy Winter was followed by a warmer than normal Spring, bringing forward the start of the vine growth cycle by as much as 10 days. Budbreak was particularly rapid and even, which, as experience shows, is a very hopeful sign of a great vintage. Growth was then slowed by cooler conditions in June and July. The rain came at the right time: after flowering and during veraison, which favoured optimal cluster development. A surge of heat in late August further encouraged the ripening process, bringing the start of harvest to the last week in August. September’s weather was sunny and rainless with perfect conditions yielding concentrated grapes with an ideal balance between ripe tannins, crisp acidities, and rich, ripe aromas. Exceptionally, harvesting concluded in the final days of September.

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 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 sun-filled, early-maturing 2011 vintage perfectly expresses the qualities of Ornellaia. The wine appears an intense, youthful fruit that is fully ripe yet at the same time crisp and lively, backgrounded by delicate nuances of
balsam and toastiness. On the palate, the powerful concentration immediately impresses, as do the tannins, massive yet silksmooth and glossy, which allows the wine to completely fill the mouth but with no feeling of heaviness. The finish, near endless,
is deliciously pungent and spicy, with a welcome crispness throughout.
 
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