Le Serre Nuove Dell’Ornellaia 2019
Second wine of Ornellaia, it offers great approachable, velvety, elegant and attractive style
|Critics Top Rating
Top Rated, Second Wines
Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Formal Entertainment, Indulgence
Bolgheri is the only Tuscan Appellation located on the coastline, and home of the ‘Super-Tuscans’. Its Terroir is perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (unlike most of Tuscany, planting Sangiovese). The Bolgheri DOC appellation was founded in 1994 and its wines have gained famed and recognition ever since.
Sensing the incredible potential of this region, Ornellaia was founded in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori. The property is adjacent to Tenuta San Guido, producer of Sassicaia, which is considered the original “Super Tuscan”. Robert Mondavi took a minority interest in the estate in November 1999, and were full owners by 2002, while initiating a partnership with the Frescobaldi family. In April 2005, Frescobaldi bought the remaining half of the shares of Ornellaia, coming to own the whole estate. Axel Heinz is the current winemaker with renowned Bordeaux Consultant Oenologist Michel Rolland, involved with the estate since its beginning.
Made with the same passion and attention to detail as Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is a true “second vin”.
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot, it combines approachability and a depth of flavour with proven ageing potential.
BLEND: 54% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
THE 2019 GROWING SEASON
More than most vintages, the year 2019 was characterised by a highly variable climate, which alternated periods of cold and rain with long bouts of drought and heat. After a normal winter, the buding took place in the first week of April. The cold and rainy conditions throughout April and May significantly slowed down the vegetative vine growth, leading to a 10–day delay in flowering compared to the average. Very hot, rainless weather suddenly arrived in June, reaching temperature peaks of 37°C at the end of the month. The weather stayed warm and sunny throughout the summer with temperatures 2°C above average and 45 consecutive days without rain. The long dry period was interrupted by two days of rain in the last week of July, bringing the temperature back to the seasonal norm, with ideal conditions for ripening. The harvest began slowly on 5th September. As usual, the last week of September saw a lowering of temperatures which made it possible to preserve a great finesse and aromatic freshness. Sunny conditions returned after another rainy event on the 21st September, which allowed us to conclude the harvest of the later ripening varieties on 4th October.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The grapes were handpicked into 15 kg baskets. The bunches were selected by hand on a double sorting table before and after de–stemming, then finally soft pressed. In addition to handpicking, we introduced optical selection in 2016 in order to further increase the quality of selection. Each variety and each parcel of land was vinified separately. The alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 26– 30°C for two weeks, followed by maceration for a total of about 10–15 days. The malolactic fermentation began in the stainless steel tanks, and was completed after the wine was racked into barriques (25% new and 75% used once). The wine remained in barriques in Ornellaia’s temperature–controlled cellars for about 15 months. After the first 12 months the wine was assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional three months of ageing. The wine remains in the bottle for another six months prior to release.
“With its hallmark deep colour, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019 has a lively balsamic vein. Soft and silky, elegant tannins and an enduring savoury finish fill the mouth.”
Olga Fusari – Winemaker – May 2021
James Suckling – 95 points
Currants, sweet tobacco, walnut husk and flowers on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied, it grows on the palate, with firm yet polished tannins and a flavorful finish. Very solid and well-crafted second wine from Ornellaia. Drink after 2023.
Decanter – 94 points
A lot going on the nose here; coffee, leather, blackcurrant, black cherries. This is amazing from the start, such incredible texture, grip and depth of flavours which are dark and rich, full of black liquorice, tar, coffee grounds and menthol aspects that just coat the whole mouth. This feels quite serious – it’s rich, layered, so deep and heady, structured but so well handled, detailed and sculpted. There is freshness but you get pure power here. Round and full but elegant at the same time. Great stuff.
Wine Advocate – 94 points
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2019 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia shows a greater degree of focus and detail compared to the previous vintage that I tasted at the same time. This wine reveals the sharp contours and etched character of the Cabernet Franc, especially with black licorice and black pepper. The results are linear and pure. Elegant fruit notes of blackberry and dark currant add to the thick layering of the wine. I tasted this sample not long after bottling, and we can expect the wine to hit the market in September 2021.
The 2018 vintage offers a unique perspective on the wines of Bolgheri, and nowhere is this more evident than the property that houses two powerhouse brands, Masseto and Ornellaia, just off the scenic via Bolgherese at the heart of this dynamic appellation located on the shores of northern Tuscany. Two of Italy’s most important wines are coming online. The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is being released now and the 2018 Masseto will hit the market later this year in October. We also have the 2018 Ornellaia Bianco (released now), the 2019 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia (to be released in September) and the other wines from the Ornellaia program coming soon. The number two wine in the Masseto program, the 2019 Masseto, will be available in the fall. The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia sees a historically high percentage of Merlot in the blend. That grape makes up 50% of the wine, with 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and tiny percentages of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. “The Merlot in 2018 was a big surprise, and we thought that a little meat was missing on the bones of the Cabernet Sauvignon,” he says. The Merlot harvest lasted about three weeks, starting at the end of August and lasting until September 25. The estate has various plots of the grape with different conditions and ripening dates and that explains the long harvest window. The percentage of Merlot in the 2018 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is also greater. The 2019 vintage represents a return to a more classic Bolgheri taste profile with greater fruit weight, structure and soft tannins. The spring season saw cool weather and rain, causing a two-week delay in the growing cycle. The temperatures warmed up considerably by June, and those delays were quickly overcome. Harvest started the second week of September and lasted until October 4th. The teams at Masseto and Ornellaia are working toward a sustainability certification with a 360-degree approach aimed at bottle glass weight, renewable energy, recyclable packaging, solar energy and making sure that outsourced suppliers comply to the in-house sustainability protocols. Recent changes in 2019 have been made to reduce bottle weight across many of the wines including the Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia. The special bottle used for Masseto, based on a unique design and special mold, is quite heavy by today’s standards. Axel does not exclude that the Masseto bottle could also be revised. For more information about the vintage conditions, the wines and this estate’s sustainability efforts, please read my full article for this report: “Italy, Tuscany: The Tuscan Twenty – A Spotlight on Masseto & Ornellaia.” (https://www.robertparker.com/articles/8amWjuQRsumiXasQA/)