Since its inception, Ornellaia’s production has been influenced and inspired by the Mediterranean character of the coast near Bolgheri. Founded in 1981, Ornellaia has helped establishing this relatively young viticultural area and it is now regarded as one of the world’s most iconic estates.
Nestled in the foothills near Bolgheri, Ornellaia lies just a few kilometres from the Mediterranean coast. During the summer months, the cool sea breeze caresses the vineyards and nearby olive groves, while during the winter the hills provide protection from the cold north winds. Ornellaia believes that a wine should be the most authentic expression of the terroir from which it originates. The 115ha of vineyards benefit from a unique combination of maritime climate and a complex mosaic of marine, alluvial and volcanic soils – creating a distinct environment where red and white varieties can best express themselves.
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.
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.
“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
Merlot dominant red blend