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March 30, 2015

Ornellaia 2012

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Ornellaia is simply one of the greatest wines in the world, one of the First Growths of Italy, and we are delighted to offer our first tranche at £560 per case of 6×75. Ornellaia 2012 is as yet un-rated by Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate or Antonio Galloni; however, he has said of the vintage, “Although most of the top wines haven’t been released yet, the 2012s I have tasted from barrel and bottle are hugely promising. The best wines are nothing short of exceptional.” 

The vintage was hot and dry from June to August, characterised by an abundance of sun, causing the vines to slow growth, this followed a cool February and a wet May. Rain fell at the right periods providing a tonic for the vines. The result was consistent ripening, yielding a generous, seductive wine, with all the hallmarks that distinguish a great vintage of Ornellaia. The only downside was the hot growing season which caused a reduction of yields of 10-30% in Tuscany in general and similarly for Ornellaia. The final blend in 2012 was 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot.

Over the last four years Ornellaia has averaged 97 points from 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. Per Liv-ex, it is “one of the world’s top-flight wines, whose investment returns exhibit the most consistent growth over time.”. Moreover, Sotheby’s reported that “Ornellaia topped our wine ranking as the leading Italian wine estate sold at Sotheby’s in 2013”. As can been seen from the graph below, Ornellaia offers intrinsic value on release, resulting in excellent short and long term returns, in-creasing in value once in bottle. It pays to buy Ornellaia on release; once it enters its drinking window the price increases by 50%, the 1997 already costs £900 while the 94 point 1990 trades at double the price of the 2012 at £1,100.

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Ornellaia have recently begun commissioning artists to design their labels; this year, one of Switzerland’s most recognised artists, John Armleder, was chosen to create an image specifically interpreting the word ‘enchantment’ for Ornellaia 2012. His design is a bright red splash which will be on one bottle per 6×75 case and on an exclusive series of large format bottles. Armleder said this image represented for him ‘the surprise and pleasure’ he felt when tasting Ornellaia 2012 for the first time. ‘I was transported to a world of dreams,’ said the artist, who hoped his label would help consumers experience that same feeling for themselves upon opening a bottle

History of Ornellaia
There is very little that separates Ornellaia from Sassicaia, 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 Sassicaia on the northern Maremma section of Bolgheri, over-looking the Tyrrhenian sea and is the answer to his cousin’s estate.

In 1985 Ornellaia released their first vintage, but did not fully compete with Sassicaia until the late 1990s, 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.

Ornellaia 2012 6×75 – £560 IB £686.76 including duty and VAT

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