THE 2017 GROWING SEASON
91% Sauvignon Blanc
2017 will go down in history as being one of the hottest, driest years ever. Things were clear from the outset due to a particularly mild winter, with temperatures over three degrees higher than the seasonal average and rains within the norm. Consequently, the vines budded much sooner than usual, almost two weeks in advance. The vegetative cycle was accompanied by hot weather with very little rain from the month of March, and this was interrupted by a sudden drop in temperatures at the end of April, which caused frost in various parts of Tuscany. Thanks to the mitigating effects of the sea, temperatures remained above zero along the coast, preventing damage to the young buds. The hot, dry weather returned in May, limiting vegetative development and the size of the bunches, while flowering occurred under excellent conditions. There was virtually no rain in July and August but fortunately the hot weather was offset by cooler temperatures at night. Given the weather conditions and the low production load, the grapes ripened quickly, forcing us to carry out the earliest harvest in Ornellaia’s history, with the first bunches of Sauvignon grapes harvested on 7 August.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The grapes were hand-harvested in 15 kg bins in the early hours of the morning and immediately cooled on arrival in the cellar to keep all their aromatic potential intact. Following careful selection the whole grape clusters were subjected to slow and soft pressing with maximum attention to protection against oxidation. After static decantation lasting approximately 24 hours, all the must was placed in barriques, 30% new and 70% used, for alcoholic fermentation at temperatures no higher than 22°C. No malolactic fermentation was carried out. The ageing continued for 12 months on the lees with periodic batonnage over the entire period, and concluded in steel vats for 3 more months. Before bottling, blending of the various batches was carried out, along with light fining. The wine was then aged in the bottle for a further 6 months before its introduction to the market.
Axel Heinz – Estate Director
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“2017 was mainly characterised by heat and drought, and harvesting the Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier grapes early was fundamental for preserving the aromatic freshness of the wines. With its bright yellow colour with green reflections, Ornellaia Bianco 2017 has a beautifully complex nose and an unexpected aromatic intensity, featuring aromas of exotic fruits and notes of fresh citrus. It is particularly striking in the mouth with an almost silky sensation, accompanied by a pleasant freshness that ends in a long and elegant finish.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker – March 2019
Antonio Galloni 94
Wine Advocate 94