Ornellaia 2006 “L’Esuberanza”
Ornellaia 2006 was released on world markets on 1 May 2009. The vineyards on the Estate deliver consistent quality year after year, giving Ornellaia its unique character, and each vintage is marked by its own distinct personality. The 2006 vintage produced an exceptional Ornellaia that is distinguished by its ‘exuberance’ (“L’Esuberanza”). When we tasted the grapes still on the vines, we noticed how perfectly balanced they were in terms of lush depth and natural acidity. When Nature paints such a rich portrait, then it is our responsibility to simply follow her guide and interpret the characteristics already there. Once in the cellar, the fermentation process was somewhat slow to finish and malolactic fermentation was hard to start. With painstaking, almost monastic attention to each barrel, we were able to achieve base wines of great depth and allure. At that point, we realized that vintages such as 2006 put us to the test even more than we thought possible, delivering a delicious promise that is a challenge to bring forth, but at the same time intriguing and exciting to do.
The Artist Luigi Ontani
Luigi Ontani, an Italian artist who has enjoyed world fame since the 1960s, has been chosen to interpret the ‘exuberance’ (“L’Esuberanza”) for Ornellaia 2006. Ontani draws his themes from a wide range of sources and time periods: art history, fables, classic and oriental mythology, symbols, and personal ideas. The themes may originate in his own individual mind, but when he expresses them concretely, they take on wider, more universal meanings. Thus, from pre-existing models he creates a new, and very personal, artistic mythology. As part of his technique, Luigi Ontani frequently inserts himself into his art pieces, taking on the role of mythical characters from history, religion, and literature. The artist is known for the ‘exuberant’ manner in which he expresses himself and for the wide range of media he uses: photography, performance art, tableau-vivant, sculpture, installations, drawings, and engravings. Prestigious international museums have exhibited Luigi Ontani’s works, including the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 2001, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York offered his first retrospective in the United States. Ontani exhibited at Venice’s Biennale in 1972, 1978, 1984, 1986, and 1995, and at the Biennale de Lyon in 2000. In 2009 he was awarded the Terna prize, and the National Museum of Capodimonte in Naples dedicated a very comprehensive retrospective to his works.
For the ‘Exuberance’ (L’Esuberanza) of Ornellaia 2006, Luigi Ontani has created a series of column-sculptures that symbolise the four seasons of the year, and which also operate as fountains. Placed in the winery’s entrance hall, this artistic statement welcomes visitors to Ornellaia. Ontani worked very closely with master ceramicists of Faenza in the creation of the sculptures, thus paying tribute to, and further developing this exceptional Italian craftsmanship tradition. Ontani’s work depicts the succession of the seasons through use of natural elements that symbolise the various seasons of the year: flowers for Spring, wheat for Summer, grapes for Autumn, and walnuts for Winter. These four allegorical representations of the seasons remind us of the temporal aspect related to winegrowing…which is intimately linked to Nature and to the cycle of its seasons.
For the ‘Exuberance’ (L’Esuberanza) of Ornellaia 2006, Luigi Ontani has designed an exclusive label which dresses an extremely limited number of large size bottles of Ornellaia 2006: 100 double Magnums (3 litres), 20 Imperials (6 litres) and a unique Salmanazar bottle (9 litres). Luigi Ontani has dedicated a different colour to each format, and every bottle is individually numbered and personally signed by him. The design of the label features four faces hidden by the artist’s calligraphy, depicting the theme of the seasons, and the surrounding decorative leaves create letters that compose the words ‘Ornellaia Esuberanza’.