Ornellaia is simply one of the greatest wines in the world and one of the First Growths of Italy. Over the last four years Ornellaia has averaged 97 points (Galloni and the Wine Advocate) making it one of the most critically acclaimed estates worldwide. A study commissioned by Ornellaia and compiled in tandem with Liv-ex and Sotheby’s concluded that the wines of Ornellaia have doubled in value between 2007 and today: “one of the world’s top-flight wines, whose investment returns exhibit the most consistent growth over time.”, Liv-ex. Moreover, Sotheby’s reported that “Ornellaia topped our wine ranking as the leading Italian wine estate sold at Sotheby’s in 2013.”
Ornellaia is characterised by its opulent fruit, wonderful structure and extremely complex flavours, it remains the most Bordeaux-esque style Super Tuscan and intelligibly a must have for all great wine collections. As such we are delighted to offer Ornellaia 2011 for £600 a half case, which received 96+ from Antonio Galloni and is already considered another truly great vintage. This year the Estate has decided to include one gold labelled bottle within every six bottle case, which no doubt will become a collectors item.
The 2011 Tuscan Vintage
2011 is being confirmed as a truly great Super Tuscan vintage, although production is down by 15% on 2010. The climate in 2011 in Bolgheri was truly exceptional, heralded as one of the best since 2000. The winter was cooler than normal, with temperatures below seasonal averages, notably so in November and January. Spring got underway early with mild temperatures and importantly, due to gradual and windless rainfall, the water supply was superb, resulting in near perfect vegetative growth among the vines. The summer was beneficially long and hot and the temperatures proceeded in line with seasonal averages, with the exception of July which was warmer than normal. The vineyards in 2011 also experienced the benefit of elevated diurnal temperature changes and as always, benefited from Ornellaia’s proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea and vineyard elevation. The result of all these factors meant the vines ripened evenly, allowing winemakers to harvest over a month beginning in September. Thus clusters arrived healthy, ripe with crisp berries yet not overly mature.
Moreover the great Michel Rolland who works as a consultant at Ornellaia has declared Ornellaia 2011 as exceptional ”Everyone remembers the fantastic 2001 vintage. Ten years after, 2011 is as amazing as 2001 was, but we are working better and 2011 seems to me more sophisticated.” The 2001 scored 96 points and is considered a future legend; it trades today at £900 for a 6×75 case. Simply put 2011 marks one of Ornellaia’s greatest ever wines.
Ornellaia’s Performance and Value on Release
The leading Super Tuscan wines; Ornellaia, Sassciaia, Solaia, Masseto and Tignanello vastly outperformed the Liv ex 50 over the last five years with the index returning over 95%. These estates also continue to offer excellent value on release and provide a real incentive to buy the wines young. At £600 for 6×75 cases, Ornellaia 2011 offers excellent arbitrage against similar scoring recent vintages:
|Vintage||WA Score||Price||2011 % Price Diff|
History of Ornellaia
There is very little that separates Ornellaia from Sasscaia, least of all their history. Mario Incisa della Rocchetta (then owner of Sassicaia) planted vines in the 1940s, reportedly using vines from Lafite Rothschild. Ornellaia was planted in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori, cousin to Nicolo Incisa (the son of Mario). It is located adjacent to Sasscaia on the northern Maremma section of Bolgheri, overlooking the Tyrrhenian sea and is the answer to his cousin’s estate, Sassicaia.
In 1985 they released their first vintage, but did not fully compete with Sassicaia until the late 90s, since which time it has fought to supplant Sassicaia as the leading Super Tuscan. Over the last 15 years Ornellaia has produced wine that critically speaking has equalled if not bettered Sassicaia and the price now reflects this. It also produces 12,000 cases compared to Sassicaia’s 15,000 and only one third goes to the Italian market; such is its international acclaim.
Antonio Galloni – 96+ points
The 2011 Ornellaia is another gorgeous wine. Mocha, plums, tobacco and licorice blossom from the glass in a rich, seamless wine endowed with stunning depth. Savory notes develop later, adding depth and resonance. The 2011 looks to have a broad drinking window that is sure to provide many stages of pleasure over the next 20+ years. The blend is approximately 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. Drink 2019 – 2026
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