Ornellaia 2009 "L'Equilibrio"

BOLGHERI DOC SUPERIORE

The desire to nurture the Estate’s exceptional qualities has shaped Ornellaia’s philosophy since the beginning. Ornellaia is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot and the faithful expression of unique terroir developed in harmony with nature.

THE 2009 GROWING SEASON

52% Cabernet Sauvignon

22% Merlot

21% Cabernet Franc

5% Petit Verdot

The 2009 growing season saw a Winter and early Spring that were cool and rainy, and budbreak occurred in line with past years. May was dry, but the rains returned in June, without however negatively impacting vine growth or flowering. Summer was practically rainless, and hot, with temperatures often rising above 35°C and very narrow day-night temperature differences. Strong scirocco winds from Africa between late August and early September hastened the ripening process, particularly in early-ripening varieties such as Merlot. The harvest, which began on 28 August and finished on 14 September, was in fact one of the earliest and quickest in the history of Ornellaia. In mid-September came rains, which gave a breathing spell to the later ripening varietals which matured perfectly with outstanding complexity. The picking stopped for a full nine days, to resume on 23 September with the aroma-laden Cabernet Franc, followed by the astonishing Petit Verdot. The grand finale came on 6 October, with the last clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon which displayed superb structure.

VINIFICATION AND AGEING

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 20-25 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 Tenuta dell’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.

WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES

“Ripeness and equilibrium are the two qualities that can best describe Ornellaia 2009. Born from a vintage which began cool then turned hot, it was necessary to take painstaking care during harvest in order to preserve the grapes’ crisp acidity and aromatic complexity. The wine’s fragrances are generous and cleanly-defined, with rich, well-ripened fruit, complemented by chocolate and balsamic notes of aromatic herbs. On the palate, silky-smooth and spacious, with glossy tannins. A lively, refreshing acidity lifts a lingering finish.”

Axel Heinz – May 2011

RATINGS

Wine Advocate 97

Wine Spectator 94

James Suckling 96

Antonio Galloni 97

THE 2009 GROWING SEASON

52% Cabernet Sauvignon

22% Merlot

21% Cabernet Franc

5% Petit Verdot

The 2009 growing season saw a Winter and early Spring that were cool and rainy, and budbreak occurred in line with past years. May was dry, but the rains returned in June, without however negatively impacting vine growth or flowering. Summer was practically rainless, and hot, with temperatures often rising above 35°C and very narrow day-night temperature differences. Strong scirocco winds from Africa between late August and early September hastened the ripening process, particularly in early-ripening varieties such as Merlot. The harvest, which began on 28 August and finished on 14 September, was in fact one of the earliest and quickest in the history of Ornellaia. In mid-September came rains, which gave a breathing spell to the later ripening varietals which matured perfectly with outstanding complexity. The picking stopped for a full nine days, to resume on 23 September with the aroma-laden Cabernet Franc, followed by the astonishing Petit Verdot. The grand finale came on 6 October, with the last clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon which displayed superb structure.

VINIFICATION AND AGEING

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 20-25 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 Tenuta dell’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.

WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES

“Ripeness and equilibrium are the two qualities that can best describe Ornellaia 2009. Born from a vintage which began cool then turned hot, it was necessary to take painstaking care during harvest in order to preserve the grapes’ crisp acidity and aromatic complexity. The wine’s fragrances are generous and cleanly-defined, with rich, well-ripened fruit, complemented by chocolate and balsamic notes of aromatic herbs. On the palate, silky-smooth and spacious, with glossy tannins. A lively, refreshing acidity lifts a lingering finish.”

Axel Heinz – May 2011

RATINGS

Wine Advocate 97

Wine Spectator 94

James Suckling 96

Antonio Galloni 97

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