THE 2015 GROWING SEASON
56% Cabernet Franc
14% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Petit Verdot
After the unusual 2014, the 2015 vintage proved to be very regular, almost “textbook” like. After a normal, rainy, mild winter, with just a couple of days with temperatures below zero, the budding arrived on time in the first days of April. Spring was characterized by a dry and sunny weather, ideal conditions for a regular vegetative development, that culminated in a fast and complete blooming at the end of May. Starting in June, water stress gradually became an issue. July will be remembered as particularly scorching and dry, with maximum temperatures that exceeded 30°C every single day of the month. The heat, combined with the absence of rains, made us fear an interruption in the ripening process and possibly an early harvest. Luckily rain came around the 10th of August, with abundant precipitation allowed the grapes to continue ripening, also bringing a much cooler weather during the final stages. This cool yet sunny weather persisted throughout the harvest, allowing us to pick very slowly, waiting for every vineyard to arrive at the perfect point of ripeness, combining a fresh and lively aromatic quality with a perfect phenolic maturation with abundant yet silky and soft tannins. We began on the 29th of August with the Merlot, and ended on the 12th of October with the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The grapes were handpicked into 15 kg baskets; the bunches were graded and selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destemming, and finally soft-pressed. Each varietal and single vineyard block was vinified separately. The primary fermentation tooks place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26° C and 30° C for one week, followed by 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. The malolactic fermentation, which began in the steel tanks, was completed after the wine was racked into barriques (25% new and 75% a year old). The wine remained in barriques in Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellars for about 15 months. After the first 12 months the wine was assembled, and then returned to the barriques for an additional 3 months of aging. After bottling, the wine aged a further 6 months prior to release.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“2015 will long be remembered as one of the great vintages in Tuscany and particularly in Bolgheri. Although all varieties grown have yielded wines of great quality, the Cabernet Sauvignon has certainly achieved one of its noblest expressions, intense colour, a majestic structure, but with silky textured tannins and a textbook bouquet of black berries, smoke and polished wood. All these elements flow effortlessly into the 2015 edition of Variazioni in Rosso.”