THE 2018 GROWING SEASON
83% Sauvignon Blanc
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. We began to harvest the Sauvignon Blancs on 16 August and continued until mid-September, after which the Vermentinos were harvested between 17 and 25 September.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The clusters were hand-picked into small 15 kg boxes in the early morning hours and immediately chilled on arrival at the cellar in order to fully preserve their aromatic compounds. After a meticulous quality selection, the whole clusters were given a very slow, gradual pressing, while great care was exercised to prevent oxidation of the fruit. After gravity settling of some 12 hours, the separate lots of must were put to barriques, 25% of which new and 25% used, in steel tanks and in concrete vats (50%). Fermentation temperatures did not exceed 22°C, and the wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. The wine matured on the fine lees for 6 months, with regular bâtonnage throughout the period, followed by the assemblage of the final blend. After a light fining, it rested an additional 12 months in the bottle before release.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018 has a classic straw-yellow colour. The nose presents intense aromas of white-fleshed fruits, accompanied by delicate notes of vanilla. On the palate it is initially ample and soft; the wine reveals a great richness and marked tanginess that lead to a fresh and persistent finish.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker – May 2019
Antonio Galloni 93
Wine Advocate 91
James Suckling 92