This is a beautiful expression of coastal Tuscany and the sunny Mediterranean. The Ornellaia 2019 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia (a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot) pours from the bottle with a specific darkness that has elements of both inky saturation and ruby highlights. The wine is saturated and rich—this is something you notice off the bat—but it also reveals a pleasing lightness or grace that is transmitted to both the bouquet and the palate. Dark fruit, pressed blackberry and plum mingle with more substantial aromas of spice, leather and sweetly cured tobacco. The tannins are beautifully managed, and the wine sports considerable heft and density on the palate that drives a very long and pleasurable mouthfeel.
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (May 2022)Score: 97/100Drink 2025-2048
The aromas of blackcurrants, fresh basil and thyme, as well as cedar and sandalwood are so attractive. It’s full-bodied and very linear with tight tannins that draw you down the length of this young wine. Wet-earth and cool-stone undertones. It’s solid and so structured. A classic Ornellaia for the cellar. Try after 2027.
James Suckling (April 2022)Score: 97/100
The 2019 Ornellaia is one of the most elegant wines I have ever tasted here. All the elements are so well-balanced. Dark and racy, with fabulous class and pedigree to burn, the 2019 is superb from the very first taste. Dark plum, mocha, new leather, licorice and spice build over time, but it is the wine’s stunning finesse that impresses most. The 2019 has the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon since the 2002. That very much comes through in the wine’s vibrancy and aromatic presence.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (March 2022)Score: 97+/102Drink 2027-2049
The latest release from Ornellaia is an astounding wine – the third in a trilogy of good vintages at the estate. There’s a little more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend in 2019 (62%), something that shines through in the wine, complemented by 31% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Aromas of assam tea, toast, incense, vanilla bean and liquorice root mingle with incredibly pure, dark blackcurrant fruit. The wine shifts to offer further complexity with every swirl of the glass. While enticing now, the 2019 reveals its true potential on the palate – with a structure that tells of its potential. There’s mouth-watering acidity that washes over ribbons of silken yet crunchy dark fruit. There’s immense concentration here, with a corduroy grip of tannins that dominates the finish, before the acidity returns and savoury, smoky notes linger long after the wine is gone.
FINE+RARE (March 2022)
Full bottle 1,342 g. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. A growing season characterised by alternating periods of cold and rain with drought and heat. April and May were cool and rainy so flowering was 10 days later than usual. Then came a particularly hot, dry summer interrupted by two days of rain at the end of July. Harvest began on 5 September and ended on 4 October with a little rain on 21 September and cooler weather towards the end. Each lot was fermented separately in either stainless steel or concrete for one week followed by a 15-day maceration. Malolactic conversion took place mainly in barrels, of which 70% were new. After 12 months' barrel ageing, the final blend was assembled and then given a further six months' barrel ageing (total of 18 months in barrel). The wine was aged further 12 months in bottle.
Intense colour and nose with alcohol and sweetness to the fore. High-toned nose and the sort of aromatic leafiness I associate with Cabernet Franc though at the time of writing that I had no idea what the assemblage was. When I tasted the wine at home it seemed really quite delicate – no heavy sweetness at all initially, though it developed a certain lusciousness with time. Finishes dry and neat with only a dusting of tannins. It would actually be perfectly possible to enjoy this young wine without food even at this early stage in its development. But when I tasted this wine a few days later in the context of the Bolgheri tasting on 24 February it seemed quite flashy and attention-grabbing compared with some of its peers. Very ripe, dramatic wine with no shortage of well-worked tannins underneath all that glam fruit. A hint of Napa? Very good winemaking and just the right side of overripe.
Jancis Robinson MW (February 2022)Score: 17.5/20Drink 2023-2035