THE 2012 GROWING SEASON
20% Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 was a dry growing year, like 2011, with the scarcity of water already evident during a cold, dry winter. At budbreak, which occurred normally, a water deficit of some 100mm, compared to the multi-year average, was already evident. A mild, sunny spring brought good vine growth, with a rapid, consistent flowering. July and August were hot and almost rain-free, leading to fears of arrested ripening due to lack of water. However, veraison was completely normal and satisfactory. A few spells of rain in late August and early September increased the momentum of the ripening, and the fruit achieved fine overall ripeness, with optimal levels of aromatics and polyphenols. Harvest took place between 2 September and 4 October, just before the arrival of heavy autumn rains.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The different varietals were fermented separately in small steel tanks to maintain their varietal characteristics intact. The alcoholic fermentation was followed by malolactic fermentation, again in steel tanks. The wine was then aged for 10 months in barriques ranging from 2-4 years old which had already been used for the ageing of Ornellaia. The time spent in small oak barrels improved the wine’s structure, and softened its tannins.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“2012 has given us a superb exemplar of Le Volte dell’Ornellaia. The warm but not excessively-hot season favoured ideal ripeness levels in the fruit. The wine appears its classic rich hue, and boasts a bouquet that is generously fruity and subtly spiced. The elegant, silk-smooth tannins are immediately impressive, beautifully complemented by a vibrant, refreshing acidity.”
Wine Advocate 90