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. The alcoholic fermentation was followed by malolactic fermentation, again in steel tanks. The wine was then aged for 10 months, partly in barrique used previously for Ornellaia and partly in concrete tanks, to obtain the perfect balance between tannic structure and an expression of fresh fruit.
After a mild and rainy winter, there was a temporary drop in temperatures in March with a few nights below 0°C at the beginning of the budding in the last week of the month.
Fortunately, the newly opened shoots were still protected by the cottony tissue of the bud and were not damaged by the frost.
The rest of spring had generally warm weather with normal rainfall that ensured regular vegetative development until flowering, which took place on average between 20 and 25
May. There was an intense rainy period in the middle of June, followed by a very long dry period with a substantial absence of rain and torrid temperatures until the end of August.
The veraison was homogeneous and rapid between 20 and 25 July, with the grapes beginning to ripen under a blazing sun. Welcome rains came at the end of August and brought a considerable drop in temperatures with them, with night lows reaching as far 13°C: ideal conditions for the Merlots to complete their ripening. They were harvested early and quickly – in only two weeks – to preserve their maximum freshness and fruitiness, just in time to avoid a sudden heat wave lasting one week where the temperatures reached as high as 37 degrees, forcing us to begin harvesting the later vines as early as the 17th of September.
A bit of rain towards the end of the month finally brought the climatic conditions back to normal, allowing us to end the harvest on October 3rd.
“Ruby red with purple reflections, Le Volte dell’ Ornellaia 2020 has a vinous bouquet, releasing a complexity of aromas ranging from ripe red fruits, to Mediterranean scrub, up to delicate notes of tobacco and spices. The mouthfeel is soft and silky, but at the same time supported by a lively acidity that gives us a crisp, persistent finish.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker
“Grabs you from the first moment your nose hovers over the glass. Smudged charcoal runs into raspberry, underbrush and mandarin orange peel that speaks of Tuscan sun. Excellent quality, good persistency in the glass as it stretches out through the palate. Everything feels in balance, and this provides another indicator that 2020 is a great vintage in this corner of Italy – Le Volte is (almost) 100% Merlot but has freshness and nuance.”
93 points – Jane Anson