THE 2015 CLIMATE
100% Sauvignon Blanc
After an unusual year in 2014, 2015 proved to be a very normal wine-making year, almost textbook. After a standard winter, wet and mild but with some days below 0°, germination happened on time during the first few days of April. Spring was characterized, by dry and sunny weather, ideal conditions for normal vegetative growth that led to quick and full flowering at the end of May. From June water stress steadily arrived. July will be remembered as being particularly hot and dry, with peaks in temperature consistently above 30°C on every single day of the month. The heat wave, together with the lack of rain gave rise to the fear that ripening would stop and that an early harvest would be necessary. Fortunately rain arrived around 10th August with heavy rainfall that unblocked the ripening process, bringing with it some much fresher weather during the final phase of ripening. In this way, we could harvest in perfect conditions during the last 10 days in August.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The grapes were hand-harvested in 15 kg bins in the early hours of the morning and immediately cooled on arrival in the cellar to keep all their aromatic potential intact. Following careful selection the whole grape clusters were subjected to slow and soft pressing with maximum attention to protection against oxidisation. After static decantation lasting approximately 24 hours, all the must was placed in barriques, 30% new and 70% used, for alcoholic fermentation at temperatures no higher than 22°C. No malolactic fermentation was carried out. The ageing continued for 12 months on the lees with periodic batonnage over the entire period, and concluded in steel vats for 3 more months. Before bottling, blending of the various batches was carried out, along with light fining. The wine was then aged in the bottle for a further 6 months before its introduction to the market.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Ornellaia Bianco was created through the desire of the winemaking team to express the exceptional characteristics of the Estate’s terroir, not only in red wine, in a great white wine. The produce of north facing vineyards planted on sandy clay-rich soils, the 2015 harvest was an almost perfect vintage. The effects of the blazing sun were once again softened by the microclimate of Bolgheri, gifting us with textbook conditions for ripening the grapes on the vines. This vintage has an intense but bright colour and its classic aroma of mature and lively citrus fruits, highlighted with subtle toasted and vanilla notes, are picked up on the nose. A full-bodied and juicy palate reflects the sunny season, but at the same time its vibrant acidity and crisp fruity character leave a very fresh and elegant impression in the mouth. The tasting finishes with a classic touch of saltiness and subtle toasty notes”.
Axel Heinz – March 2017
Wine Advocate 93