Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore 2018

Needs no ceremony.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot
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Body: Full

Dryness: Very Dry

Acidity: Medium

Tannin: Medium +

Alcohol (%):

Origin: Tuscany (Bolgheri, Chianti, Brunello & More), Italy



  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Petit Verdot

Fermentation: Organic Heavy Wood



Asian Food Pairing: Oxtail soup, lamb kebab, beef cubes

Western Food Pairing: Pair with red meat mains, seasoned game, or aged cheeses.


Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore

Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore has a natural style that needs no ceremony. Its intense and dark colour heralds a wine of beautiful concentration. Incredible depth on the complex nose releases aromas of black fruit, sweet tobacco and vanilla. Full-bodied and dry, the palate reveals great balance, a pleasant freshness as well as ripe and firm tannins. Rich blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours with endless layers of coffee, tobacco, chocolate and oak spice. Closes in a powerful and long finish. Beyond impressive.

One of the most highly acclaimed Italian wineries, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is famous for crafting some of the most sought-after wines from Bolgheri. Semi-concealed 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, whilst the hills provide protection from the cold north winds in winter. Ornellaia believes that a wine should be the most authentic expression of the unique terroir it originates from. The maritime climate, the heterogeneous nature of the land and the estate – of marine, alluvial and volcanic origin – creates a distinct environment where red and white varieties can best express themselves.
The cuvée is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from Ornellaia's vineyards. Manual harvesting of the different varietals then double sorting selection, destemming and a soft crushing. The vinification of each grape variety and single vineyard block occurs separately. Fermentation in stainless steel and concrete tanks at temperatures below 25°C for a week. Next is a 10–15 day maceration period. Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels, 70% new and 30% second fill. The wine then remains in barriques and ages for about 18 months in Ornellaia's temperature-controlled cellars. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine is assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 6 months. After bottling, the wine ages for a further 12 months before release.

Ageing potential: This is a wine to lay on its side. It will continue to evolve beautifully for 20 years!


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A big, rich wine for the vintage, yet poised and lively with firm, chewy tannins that give form and intensity to the wine. It shows loads of blackberry, blackcurrant and walnut flavors. Ripe yet polished tannins.

The 2017 vintage of Ornellaia is called Solare and represents the 12th edition in the estate's Vendemmia d'Artista series featuring artwork by Tomás Saraceno. His beautiful art depicts a radiant sun halo and is intended as a symbol of sustainability. That theme of sunshine and warmth is particularly well suited to a vintage such as this. The Ornellaia 2017 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is generous and fruit-forward with dense richness and concentration all driven by the smaller and more compact berry size that characterizes this dry, hot growing season. Black and purple fruits segue to spice, tobacco, leather and some of those beautiful Mediterranean notes of black olive and wild sage. These various moving pieces work together in perfect harmony. The tannins are beautifully managed here. If you consider the more astringent and rougher approach of the mid-tier Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia, this wine shows a whole other level of magnificent tannic management that could not have been easy given the diminutive berry size. This vintage sees a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc.

In 2017 the production of Ornellaia (a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc) was reduced by 15% due to the heat. Known as one of the most powerful and long-lived wines from Bolgheri, it doesn’t deceive its style. The estate was one of the few able to wait out the rain of mid-September to harvest the late-ripening varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Vinous first due to an extremely youthful cassis fruit character, it's crunchy and extracted on the palate with a cedar wood flavour, crisp acidity and plenty of tannins. It flows to a ripe finish, warming yet balanced. It’s not properly ready to drink yet but it will develop complexity with ageing. From 1-9 September 2020, Sotheby’s will be hosting the online auction of the large formats of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista 2017, whose proceeds will be donated to the 'Mind’s Eye' program created by the educational department of the Guggenheim Foundation.
 - 94 POINTS
Though well-oaked, this features ample black cherry, plum and loam flavors to match the vanilla and sweet spice elements. Harmonious and accessible at this young stage, but will be better in a few years once the components harmonize. Vibrant and long. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2038.