THE 2018 GROWING SEASON
After a few years that almost made us forget what winter was like, 2018 brought the weather conditions back to normal, with a number of days with temperatures below zero that were sufficient for the vines to begin their well-deserved winter rest. Spring will be remembered as one of the rainiest in history, with three times more rainfall than the seasonal average and high temperatures in April. Despite the late budding, the weather conditions and the rapid growth of the shoots allowed the vines to catch up and even flower a full week early. Even if it rained less in June than in May, there was above-average rainfall throughout June, and a break came only in July with a warm and dry month. The veraison took place between 22 and 25 July and the month of August was as hot as the previous year, but with slightly more rain. The sugars and acidity developed slowly, while the berries grew to larger dimensions thanks to the high level of water present in the soil. In September the weather was warm and it did not rain. The temperatures were higher than the seasonal average, but the cooler nights allowed the vines to recover and preserve the grapes’ aromas and acidity. The harvest of the reds began on 31 August with the Merlots, and ended on 8 October with the later vines.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The different varietals were fermented separately in small steel tanks to maintain their varietal characteristics intact. The alcoholic fermentation was followed by malolactic fermentation, again in steel tanks. The wine was then aged for 10 months, partly in barrique used for Ornellaia and partly in cement tanks, to obtain the perfect balance between tannic structure and an expression of fresh fruit.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2018 perfectly reflects the characteristics of the vintage, revealing great elegance and balance. Its nose is wonderfully complex, very fruity with delicate floral and spicy notes. The tannic and smooth texture is striking on the palate, ending in a crisp and lively finish.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker – December 2019
Wine Advocate 89
James Suckling 93