THE 2007 GROWING SEASON
25% Cabernet Sauvignon
5% Petit Verdot
2007 began with a very mild Winter, with less rainfall than usual. As a result bud break occurred about 10 days early. The Spring was mild, with rainfall at the right moments, which allowed excellent vegetative growth and led the vines to blossom early. June rains, which occurred throughout Tuscany, accompanied the development of the grapes. Summer finally started with a July, which was hot and dry, followed by an August which was cooler, with classic mid-month thunderstorms that slowed the ripening of the grapes, bringing the projected harvest date back to normal. A perfect September with brilliant sun, mild temperatures, and little rain permitted a perfectly slow, steady ripening of the grapes, which concentrated the aromatic & polyphenolic content, with no traces of over-ripening.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The grapes were handpicked into 15 kg baskets; the bunches were graded and selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destemming, and finally soft-pressed. Each varietal and single vineyard block was vinified separately. The primary fermentation tooks place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26° C and 30° C for one week, followed by 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. The malolactic fermentation, which began in the steel tanks, was completed after the wine was racked into barriques (25% new and 75% a year old). The wine remained in barriques in Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellars for about 15 months. After the first 12 months the wine was assembled, and then returned to the barriques for an additional 3 months of aging. After bottling, the wine aged a further 6 months prior to release.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“The 2007 harvest was sunny, alternating with cooler days, thereby creating a combination of weather conditions that enabled the grapes to fully preserve their fresh, aromatic complexity. Merlot in particular exhibits these characteristics, marrying roundness and richness to vibrance and liveliness. We therefore gave pride of place to this variety in the blend of Variazioni in Rosso dell’Ornellaia 2007, a choice that was dictated by the intense, inimitable character of the vintage”