A true ‘Second vin’ of Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia was first introduced with vintage 1997, resulting from the decision to carry out an even more rigid selection during the blending phase of the base wines which give life to Ornellaia.
Produced primarily from the younger vineyards, the wine combines the pedigree of the flagship wine with freshness, accessibility and softness together with a structure, balance and intensity typical of the great terroir of the Estate.
Climate and Harvest
2012 was a dry growing year, like 2011, with the scarcity of water already evident during a cold, dry winter. At budbreak, which occurred normally, a water deficit of some 100mm, compared to the multi-year average, was already evident. A mild, sunny spring brought good vine growth, with a rapid, consistent flowering. July and August were hot and almost rain-free, leading to fears of arrested ripening due to lack of water. However, veraison was completely normal and satisfactory. A few spells of rain in late August and early September increased the momentum of the ripening, and the fruit achieved fine overall ripeness, with optimal levels of aromatics and polyphenols. The harvest for Merlot took place between 29 August and 17 September; it began on 18 September for Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot in the younger vineyards, and concluded with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the oldest vineyards.
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. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26° C and 30° C for one week, followed by 10 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 Notes
Tasted April 2014
The 2012 vintage was sunny and dry, yielding grapes that were concentrated and fully ripe. Rainfall during the harvest period, coming after a particularly dry season, actually benefitted the vines; it also lowered temperatures during September, which encouraged full ripening of the fruit.
Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2012 is as expected ; a deep ruby red. A very crisp, clean-edged bouquet features emphatic notes of wild berry fruit and sweet violets, with underlying hints of pungent spice and roast espresso bean. The palate is full-volumed with a good weight, yet at the same time displaying elegance and pedigree, with a velvet-smooth, glossy texture and up-front fruit. A lovely vein of acidity propels a near-endless finish, held taut and true by an exceptional charge of tannins, bringing the wine to a close on an intensely refreshing note.