53% Cabernet Franc
21% Cabernet Sauvignon
7% Petit Verdot
After a dry 2012, winter 2013 was characterised by mild but very rainy weather, which caused a delay in budding of up to 15 days. The cold and rain also led to irregular and very long flowering – with a two-week delay compared to the average – which reduced production and resulted in uneven development of clusters. Fortunately the summer, which arrived punctually at the end of June, was perfect, dry and sunny, but with a few peaks of intense heat in July and August. The slow vegetative development was ultimately beneficial because it deferred ripening until after the hottest period. The storms of August significantly lowered the temperatures, especially at night, which favoured aromatic expression, but led to a later than average harvest, between 9 September and 14 October, with mainly sunny weather without excessive heat.
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.
“The 2013 is an excellent example of a late ripening and cool vintage in which the grapes were able to slowly accumulate flavour, fragrant aromatics and a crisp and balanced acidity. All these qualities are expressed perfectly through this year’s Cabernet franc that have developed their text book aromatics of freshly crushed red berries, violets and soft spices. Instead of showing extravagant power the palate strikes with its refined and silky texture, vibrant fruit and a fresh and long finish.”