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September 05, 2013

Le Serre Nuove 2011

serre_1

Le Serre Nuove 2011, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia 94 points, Galloni - £155 (6×75) OWC EP
£200.40 including VAT and duty

I have little doubt that current vintages of Le Serre Nuove are actually better wines than the early vintages of Ornellaia…” – Antonio Galloni

Le Serre Nuove 2011, the second wine of Ornellaia 
Modern innovations in winemaking are as much to do with good practice and commitment to quality as they are technology. For example, almost all leading chateaux in Bordeaux produce second wines and so do the leading Super Tuscans. Second wines make sense commercially; they developed naturally out of the desire of estates to produce a first wine that perennially pushes the envelope of quality. Historically, at least in Bordeaux, estates would take the grapes from all of their best vineyards plots and use them for the first wine. When vines are young they are exuberant and virile, producing high yields, as they age they begin to produce less wine but with more concentration.

Second wines are made from a selection of vines that did not make it into the first; however, they are from the same vineyards and of the highest quality. Generally speaking they can be drunk a little younger, although they age wonderfully and as Galloni rightly posits, the current second wines are better than some of the older vintages of the first. It is worth considering also that when First Growth Bordeaux wines took off in China in 2008, their second wines rose in value overnight, making incredible investments. The 92 point 2007 Le Serre Nouve already trades above £500 a case.

Le Serre Nuove is to Ornellaia what Carrauades de Lafite is to Lafite Rothschild. The first vintage of Le Serre Nuove was produced in 1997, the vintage when Ornellaia choose to make further selections during the blending of their first wine. It is chiefly made from younger Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines; some of these make it into Ornellaia to give the wine more energy and lift. Earlier this year Ornellaia delivered their 97 point 2010, this week they released their 2011 Serre Nuove. We have secured a parcel of their newest release, Le Serre Nuove 2011 which scored a staggering 94 points. The 2010 Ornellaia costs £650 a half case, while the 94 point Le Serre Nuove is available for £155 a half case less than a quarter of the price, yet close in quality. We only have 20 half cases available and this wine is not to be missed.

The 2011 is a powerful wine, combining a full body, with fresh acidity and focused clean aromatics. The Merlot provides a depth and long fruit driven mid-palate, the fruit concentration is spectacular and the potential is brooding under the refined structure and ripe, sweetly focused tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot create an aromatic very similar to left bank Bordeaux wines, with flavours of tobacco, herbs, baked coffee beans and mocha. It can be approached now but will age and improve for 15 years.  For £155 a half case you are buying wine from Ornellaia that outscored the 2007, 2005, 2003 and 2002 vintages of the first wine, truly remarkable! To learn purchase this wine please click here

20 cases (6x75cl) Le Serre Nuove 2011 @ £155 EP per case, available for delivery in late September         
“The 2011 Le Serre Nuove is striking for its beauty and symmetry. Some vintages of Le Serre Nuove are open and radiant, others are more structured. The 2011 seems to bring together elements of both in a wine of superb pedigree and pure class. Mocha, dark raspberries, tobacco and grilled herbs all flesh out on the inviting, vivid finish. Today, the 2011 is absolutely singing and points to a spectacular vintage at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia. This is impressive juice. In 2011 the blend is 57% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Franc. The relatively high amounts of both Petit Verdot and Franc are very much felt. Drink 2015 – 2026.” 94 Antonio Galloni