The 2015 growing season
61% Sauvignon Blanc
2% Petit Manseng
Following an unusual 2014, 2015 turned out to be an almost “textbook” year. Budbreak occurred on-time in the first days of April after a normal winter: rainy and mild despite a few days with the temperatures below zero. Spring was notable for the dry, sunny weather; ideal conditions for regular plant growth that culminated in a rapid, full flowering at the end of May. From June onwards, water stress became increasingly apparent. July was particularly torrid and dry, with temperatures exceeding 30°C every single day of the month. The heatwave, combined with the lack of rain, made us fear that ripening would stop and an early harvest be necessary. Fortunately, the rain arrived around August 10 with abundant rains that restarted the ripening process, bringing with it much cooler weather during the final stage of ripening. We were, therefore, able to harvest the Sauvignon and Viognier in perfect conditions from August 17 until the beginning of September. The Vermentino enjoyed cool, sunny weather allowing us to extend the ripening period to the end of September.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The clusters were hand-picked into small 15kg boxes in the early morning hours and immediately chilled on arrival at the cellar in order to fully preserve their aromatic compounds. After a meticulous quality selection, the whole clusters were given a very slow, gradual pressing, while great care was exercised to prevent oxidation of the fruit. After gravity settling of some 12 hours, the separate lots of must were put in barriques, 23% of which new and 27% used, in steel tanks, and in concrete and oak vats (50%). Fermentation temperatures did not exceed 22°C, and the wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. The wine matured on the fine lees for 6 months, with regular bâtonnage throughout the period, followed by the assemblage of the final blend. After a light fining, it rested an additional 12 months in the bottle before release.
WINEMAKER ‘S NOTES
“Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2015 is the result of an exceptional year in which sun and cool temperatures both arrived at the appropriate time. It is a wine full of freshness with an intense straw yellow colour. On the nose it expresses intense and refined notes of mature citrus fruit, exotic fruit and white flowers. On the palate it is fleshy and juicy with a vibrant, crystalline fruitiness which perfectly reflects the sunny, but not excessively hot year. The long lingering fruity finish leaves the palate clean and fresh.”
Wine Spectator 90