Ornellaia Ornellaia 2014
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|Region||Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri|
From a cooler, more challenging vintage, the 2014 Ornellaia is nevertheless a beautiful wine. Based on 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 70% new oak, it has classy cassis and black cherry fruits as well as notes of saddle leather, dried flowers, and spicy oak. While it doesn't have the wealth of material found in the 2015 and 2016, it has solid mid-palate depth, beautiful balance, and a great finish. It's a classy, seamless Ornellaia to enjoy over the coming 15+ years or more.
To be released in May 2017, the 2014 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia reverts to a style and personality that we have not seen in a long while. The wine shows a tight, silky and determined approach that reminds us of the Ornellaias made under the estate's previous ownership with the Marchese Lodovico Antinori in the mid-1990s. More than anything else, this has to do with the very unique characteristics of the 2014 growing season. The wine opens to a beautifully saturated and dark appearance. Thanks to the advanced age of the vines and their extensive root systems, fruit quality was well preserved despite the cool summer and late harvest. The wine shows sweet fruit nuances with blackberry and dark currant. Spice, leather and tobacco fill in the rear. The finish reveals just enough of that acidic prickle to assure an easy ten or fifteen year drinking window.
Toast, underbrush, tobacco leaf and cassis aromas lead the nose. Reflecting the cool wet vintage, the palate is austere and lighter bodied than usual but still elegant, offering raw cherry, pomegranate, licorice and ground pepper alongside tight close-grained tannins. Give the tannins several more years to unwind.
The 2014 Ornellaia is a powerful, earthy wine. As has always been the case, the 2014 has a very strong, powerful imprint with heavy toast notes. In 2014, Ornellaia is very dark, with a distinctive mocha/torrefaction component that has always been one of its signatures. I confess, the 2014 remains a mystery wine. I just don't see the pedigree here that has been such a signature since the debut vintage in 1985. The 2014 has always been a difficult, stubborn Ornellaia with aggressive tannins. Time in the glass brings out a measure of aromatic freshness. Even so, the 2014 remains tightly wound and in need of time to be at its very best. Several recent bottles have all shown more or less the same.
Starts out with aromas of black currant and cherry, followed by flavors of herb, tobacco, iron and spice. Turns dense and tannic in the end. Elegant and complex overall, but this needs to resolve the tannins and integrate the oak. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2025.