THE 2011 GROWING SEASON
100% Petit Manseng
After a significantly delayed 2010 vintage, 2011 was marked by very hot, dry weather, which brought on an earlier than average harvest. A rainy winter was followed by a warmer than normal spring, bringing forward the start of the vine growth cycle by as much as 10 days. Budbreak was particularly rapid and even, which, as experience shows, is a very hopeful sign of a great vintage. Growth was then slowed by cooler conditions in June and July. The rain came at the right time: after flowering and during ‘veraison’, which favoured optimal cluster development. A surge of heat in late August further encouraged the ripening process, bringing the start of harvest to the last week in August. September brought sunny, rain-free weather, near-perfect conditions for ripening the grapes. Dry, sunny days led to an extremely rapid and unusually uniform appassimento (natural semi-drying) of the clusters on the vine, and they were harvested in only two vineyard passes in the first half of October.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
Upon arrival at the winery, each lot was pressed and fermented separately. After lengthy, gentle pressing and a natural one night decanting, the various lots were fermented in 100% new oak barriques at temperatures of no more than 22°C. Upon reaching the desired sugar and alcohol levels, the fermentation was stopped. Malolactic fermentation did not take place. After racking, the wines were aged for 12 months, after which the various lots were blended. After bottling, the wine was aged for another year prior to release.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“The creation of Ornus dell’Ornellaia was inspired by our passion for the territory and desire to fully explore its potential to produce great late harvest sweet wines, assisted by the mild and well-ventilated climate, typical of Autumn in Bolgheri. The warm, sun-blest 2011 expresses itself in an appearance of intense gold, and a nose with inebriating tropical fruit, dried apricot, citrus and caramel. The palate is remarkably rich and vibrant, redolent of fragrant honey and tropical fruit, emphatically sweet but perfectly balanced by the lively vein of acidity classic to Petit Manseng.”