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 grapes were hand-harvested in 15 kg crates in the early hours of the morning and immediately cooled on arrival in the cellar to keep all their aromatic potential intact. Following careful selection, the whole grape clusters were subjected to slow and soft pressing with maximum attention to protection against oxidation. After static decantation lasting approximately 24 hours, the must was entirely placed in barrels – 25% new and 75% used – to carry out the alcoholic fermentation at temperatures not exceeding 22°C. In addition to 225-litre barriques, 320- and 600- litre tonneaux and cigar-shaped barrels were used. No malolactic fermentation was carried out. The ageing continued for 10 months on the lees with periodic batonnage over the entire period and concluded in steel vats for 2 more months. Before bottling, blending of the various batches was carried out, along with light fining. The wine was then aged in the bottle for a further 6 months before its introduction to the market.
After a mild and rainy winter, there was a temporary drop in temperatures in March with a few nights below 0°C at the very start 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 growth 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 virtual absence of rain and torrid temperatures until the end of August. The véraison was even and quick between 20 and 25 July, with the grapes beginning to ripen under a blazing sun.
The harvest started on 13 August and ended on 24 August. The early picking and lack of significant water stress due to the abundant rainfall in June brought out the textbook Sauvignon aromas.
“Ornellaia Bianco 2020, with its deep straw yellow tinge, unfurls in the glass with yellow fruit, white floral and vanilla aromas. The harmony and complexity excite with every sip. On the palate, the wine proves refreshing as well as having an elegant creaminess that makes the tasting experience enticing, enjoyable and long lasting.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker
“An expert rendition of soft power, this has depths to the expression of Sauvignon Blanc that you find in very few versions of this grape variety. Rippling with lemongrass, tomato leaf, sage, citrus, some riper fleshy fruits of apricot, nectarine and pineapple than in the 2019 vintage, clearly an impressive glass that has tension and grip.”
97 Points – Jane Anson
Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
100% Sauvignon Blanc,