Tenuta Dell Ornellaia Superior 2013
96 Points Robert Parker
What appeared to be a disadvantage for the 2013 vintage – late budding and flowering – proved to be a major advantage thanks to a warm summer and month of September offering textbook conditions for harvesting, with cool temperatures but a prevalence of sunny weather. This resulted in slow but complete ripening with great balance and a delightful aromatic quality, which we like to define as "Elegance." Ornellaia 2013, with its dense, vibrant color, has a nose of splendid aromatic complexity built around a limpid and brilliant fruitiness, underscored by refined spicy and balsamic notes. The mouth develops vibrant and complex fruity nuances framed by a dense, slender structure with tannins that attain a rare harmony between firmness and fleshiness, concluding with a long balanced and fresh finish.
Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot
Vanilla, toast and smoke notes shade the black cherry and plum aromas, while the spicy oak theme carries over on the palate. A brash style that shows fine balance, but this will require time to find equilibrium. Best from 2018 through 2029.
93 Points Wine Spectator
In 1981, Marchese Lodovico Antinori breathed new life into Tenuta dell' Ornellaia, an estate whose potential had been ignored for decades. With the help of Andre Tchelistcheff, the famous agronomist, Antinori planted the first French vines in Bolgheri, which lies in the heart of Tuscany's coastal region, Maremma. The estate yields some of the finest Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in Tuscany. In 2002, Marchesi de' Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi became owners of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, which is now owned exclusively by Marchesi de' Frescobaldi.
The 2013 vintage was scorching hot in the summer, but August storms delayed the ripening and the grapes were harvested two weeks later than the 2011 and 2012. ‘This slow vegetative development favoured aromatic expression’, comments Heinz. The 2013 has lots of top notes of creamy oak spice and dark berried fruit. A soft and round first impression evolves into a rich, but not heavy, wine with a gentle appeal and a nuanced palate of green peppercorn, tobacco spice, lively redcurrant and vanilla. It has a suave and energetic personality.
95 Points Decanter
This wine will be released in May 2016. The 2013 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is an integrated and seamless blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Alex Heinz tells me that 2013 was a difficult vintage especially towards the early part of the growing season. It balanced out during the summer and allowed for steady ripening of fruit before the harvest. But 2013 was not as hot as 2011 and 2012 overall, and this edition of Ornellaia is beautifully tonic and shapely as a result. The bouquet is very developed in terms of aromas this year with beautiful notes of dark fruit, tobacco and spice. Those perfumes are just gorgeous. The mouthfeel is similarly intense with tannins that are still young, but are already silky and linear in nature. This vintage promises a long aging future.