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 clusters were hand-picked into small 15 kg boxes in the early morning hours and immediately chilled on arrival at the cellar in order to fully preserve their aromatic compounds.
After a meticulous quality selection, the whole clusters were given a very slow, gradual pressing, while great care was exercised to prevent oxidation of the fruit. After gravity settling of some 12 hours, the separate lots of must were put to barriques, 25% of which new and 25% used, in
steel tanks and in concrete vats (50%). Fermentation temperatures did not exceed 22°C, and the wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. The wine matured on the fine lees for 6 months, with regular bâtonnage throughout the period, followed by the assemblage of the final blend. After a light fining, it rested an additional 12 months in the bottle before release.
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.
The harvest began even before mid-August, on August 13th with the bunches of “milleviti” Sauvignon to end on the 24th of the same month. This year was one of those rare occasions when the Viognier and Verdicchio were harvested at the same time, while the Vermentino was
left to ripen until being harvested in the second week of September. The early harvest and the absence of marked water stress, thanks to the abundant rainfall in June, allowed the grapes to express a beautiful aromatic distinctiveness, in particular the Sauvignons.
“With its classic bright straw-yellow colour, Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2020 expresses itself on the nose with a beautiful aromatic intensity: aromas of boxwood and white flowers, accompanied by notes of white peach, sage and aromatic herbs are all released once poured.
The wine fills the palate with elegance and determination upon tasting, revealing the proper balance of acidic freshness and density. The finish is lively, persistent and with a nice tanginess.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker
“Sauvignon Blanc dominant on the nose, with a flick of gunsmoke reduction. Great pace and momentum through the palate, this is mouthwatering and seductive, layering brambled gooseberry with citrus and safe alongside slate salinity. So easy to recommend this white wine from director Axel Heinz and oenologist Olga Fusari. 25% new oak, blend at the end of ageing. 12 months in bottle before release. ”
93 Points – Jane Ansoni
“Lovely refined aromas, elderflower, peach, apricot, some white flowers and gently bitter orange rind. I love the texture here, smooth and succulent, a very satisfying weight – bright with such aromatic intensity. Body and texture here, a good food wine, with acidity giving lemon and lime touches and a clarity left on the tongue towards the finish. Very appealing.”
93 Points – Decanter, Georgina Hindle
Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
69% Sauvignon Blanc,