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Ornellaia 2009 “L’Equilibrio”

May 2012 hailed the release of the vintage Ornellaia 2009. How was the 2009 growing season, and what were the characteristics that influenced the personality and qualities of Ornellaia 2009? The 2009 growing season initially saw a series of rains during the Winter which extended into late Spring, while the Summer remained cool through mid-August. Then conditions turned hot, with strong scirocco winds, which quickened the ripening process, particularly in the Merlot vineyards. The Merlot harvest in fact was one of the earliest recorded here at Ornellaia! September brought some welcome rains that ensured picture-perfect ripeness for the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. We terminated the harvest on 6 October. We noted in this vintage distinctive, clearly-delineated, almost mutually-opposed characteristics. The lively crispness and smooth warmth, the earlier and later ripening of the varietals; these extremes came together in a dynamic synthesis during ageing in barriques and of course in the marriage of the final blend of Ornellaia, where the extremes melded into each other to display a wine of superb ‘Equilibrium’.

The Artist Zhang Huan

Zhang Huan, performer, sculptor and painter is one of the most important contemporary Chinese artists, and he is internationally renowned. Born in 1965 in An Yang City (Henan Province) in China, after a period in New York, he lives and works in Shanghai since 2006. A multifaceted artist, Zhang Huan, has a rich artistic production, ranging from performance to photography, sculpture, video, painting and installations. These techniques, in his hands, are transformed into instruments to revisit the Chinese cultural tradition, an intimate relationship with his past, nature and history. Recurring element in his work is the contemporary interpretation of traditional eastern culture. The result of this process is a sophisticated and extremely versatile artistic production. The practice of Buddhism and the Ancient Eastern techniques become for the artist the iconographic source of inspiration to express a new contemporary esthetic. His artistic research is marked by the evocative power of the Eastern tradition. The strength of Zhang Huan’s work is the bearer of tradition, innovation, the ability to make the deep connection with contemporary art, icons, and themes of Chinese tradition.

The Artpiece

The Chinese artist Zhang Huan was inspired by Confucius, the famous philosopher who lived in China in the sixth century B.C., and has named the project “Questioning Confucius”. At the center of the cellar’s courtyard, the artist has created a steel sculpture representing the Chinese master Confucius.

Special Labels

An extremely limited edition series of large size bottles with special labels created by Zhang Huan complete the art project. Each of the one hundred Double Magnum bottle (3 liters) has a Confucius image and a quotation of his writings, that alludes the pursuit of wisdom that can be achieved with age. The imperial bottles (6 liters) of which there are only ten, are designed as a single series: each bottle has a figure of the philosopher Confucius, representing the progressive stages of life. Each label also carries a phrase that alludes to the achievement of wisdom with age. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed in original by Zhang Huan. The unique Salmanazar (9 liter) bottle bears an oval sculpture made from steel and which is engraved with the portrait of the philosopher Confucius. The bottle is signed in original by Zhang Huan.

Event

A live and on-line charity auction of rare Ornellaia bottles conducted by Sotheby’s Hong Kong to benefit ‘ The H2 Foundation for arts and Education.

Mandarin Oriental,
Hong Kong
27 April 2012

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