Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia 2004
2004 can be considered as one of the major expressions of Ornellaia and represents an excellent example of a classic vintage in Bolgheri. The ideal conditions during the growing season lead to a perfect combination of ripeness, flavor complexity and finesse. The velvety opulence of the Merlot is balanced out by the racy and elegant tannic structure of the Cabernets, which are further amplified by the small addition of Petit Verdot.
This is a hopelessly gorgeous wine with so much energy, intensity, density and good cheer. The superb ensemble-Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot-delivers chocolate fudge, ripe cherry, rhubarb, cola, tobacco and cedar wood. It's tight and supple, with seamless harmony and excellent succulence on the finish. But it's that incredible intensity that truly sets this wine apart.Score: 98. —Monica Larner, April 01, 2008.
Dark ruby-purple in color, with complex aromas of dark chocolate, cola, vanilla, cedar and currant. Full-bodied yet ultrarefined, with dense, seamless, caressing tannins. Everything is in the right proportion. Superb. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best after 2009.Score: 97. —James Suckling, October 31, 2007.
The gorgeous 2004 Ornellaia is a great way to start this tasting. A lively dark ruby, it is a vibrant effort bursting with expressive aromatics and layered, well-delineated fruit, showing much purity on the palate and closing with a long, finessed finish. Readers hoping to catch this wine's full array of nuances will have to wait at least another few years as the wine remains quite primary today. This exquisite effort is not to be missed. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. 95/Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019. Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is without question one of Italy's blue-chip properties. The gorgeous, sprawling estate is located in Bolgheri in Tuscany's Maremma. On a recent visit I had the opportunity to taste a number of the estate's wines with General Manager/Agronomist Leonardo Raspini and Oenologist Axel Heinz, including verticals of the estate's top bottlings Ornellaia and Masseto. Ornellaia is a Bordeaux-inspired blend consisting principally of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In 2003 a small percentage of Petit Verdot was introduced. The use of several varietals gives the winemaking team the luxury of being able to tailor the exact proportion of the blend to the specific strengths of a given vintage. Because the blend tends to vary from year to year in a vertical tasting Ornellaia shows many different facets of its personality. After harvest the varietals are vinified separately. Fermentation and maceration lasts between 25-30 days after which the wines are moved into French oak barrels where they age for 12 months. The wines are then racked and assembled into the final blend, which spends an additional six months in barrel prior to being bottled. The percentage of new oak has risen from 50%, which was used for vintages 1997 and 1998, to 60% used in 1999, to the 70% the estate has employed since 2000.Score: 95. —Antonio Galloni, April 2007.
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