THE 2018 GROWING SEASON
33% Cabernet Sauvignon
18% Cabernet Franc
17% Petit Verdot
After several years in which winter seemed to be little more than a memory, 2018 brought a return to normal climatic conditions, with temperatures spending enough time below zero for the vines to begin their well-deserved winter rest. That spring will be remembered as one of the wettest in history, with three times the seasonal average rainfall and high temperatures in April. Despite late budbreak, the weather conditions and rapid growth of the buds enabled the vines to catch up and bloom a week earlier than anticipated. For the entire month of May and – to a lesser extent – June, rainfall remained above average and it was only in July that we received some respite, with a warm and dry month. Veraison took place between the 22nd and 25th of July, and August was as hot as it had been the previous year, but slightly wetter. The sugars and acidity developed slowly, while the berries grew to larger dimensions thanks to the high level of water present in the soil. September was warm and dry. Temperatures were higher than the seasonal average, but cooler nights enabled the vines to recover and preserve the aromas and acidity. The red grape harvest began on the 31st of August with the Merlot and ended on the 8th of October with the later-ripening varieties.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The clusters were hand-picked into 15 kg boxes and then selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after de-stemming, and finally gently crushed. Since 2016, optical sorting has been introduced in addition to manual selection, in order to further increase the quality of selection. Each variety and each parcel was vinified separately. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel, at temperatures of between 26° and 30°C for two weeks followed by maceration of around 10-15 days. Malolactic fermentation was started in stainless steel and completed after transfer to barrels (25% new and 75% a year old). The wine remained in Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellar for a further 15 months. It was assembled after the first 12 months and then reintroduced in the barrels for a further 3 months. After bottling, it was aged for an additional six months prior to release.
Axel Heinz – Estate Director
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Characterized by a lively ruby red colour, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2018 is a wine of great aromatic complexity, a distinctive feature of this vintage. In the glass, aromas of berries, blackberry, raspberry and red cherry are accompanied by floral hints of wild rose and spicy notes of pink pepper and liquorice. On tasting, the wine has a good tannic structure, enveloping and balanced, with a crisp and savoury finish.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker – May 2020