- BOLGHERI DOC SUPERIORE
The desire to nurture the Estate’s exceptional qualities has shaped Ornellaia’s philosophy since the beginning.
Ornellaia is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot and the faithful expression
of unique terroir developed in harmony with nature.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
“Ornellaia 2003 is a wine that shows the great ripeness of the vintage through its abundant ripe fruit flavours, scents of
exotic spices and a rich and generous texture. The important proportion of Cabernet franc and the Petit Verdot add their
complex aromatics, their freshness that together with the wine’s richness give a bottle of great harmony and balance.”
THE 2003 GROWING SEASON
The abundant winter rains permitted the vines to have a good water reserve in the soil in April which was very
important due to the torrid Summer that was ahead. In Spring the budding was a bit late but with the drought
(only 14 mm of rain fell from May through to the beginning of September) and the high temperatures, the
vines were a week early in flowering. In the Summer the highest temperatures were 35°C between 20 and 28
July and 39°C between 3 and 9 August. Between 21 and 28 August, a couple of weeks earlier than usual, the
bunches of the youngest Merlot were harvested in two separate occasions. At the beginning of September in
the other vineyards, analysis confirmed a high sugar level but an insufficient phenolic maturity. The harvest,
therefore, began again only on 10 September after a couple of thunder storms had lowered the temperature
and with a harvest of bunches in perfect condition. The yield was less than expected – about 30% lower.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
Each vineyard parcel was harvested by hand into 15kg baskets and hand sorted on tables prior to being
destemmed and lightly crushed. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out partially in wooden fermentors of
medium capacity and partially in stainless steel tanks with temperatures never exceeding 30°C. Each grape
variety and vineyard parcel was vinified separately. Post-fermentation maceration continued for an average
period of 25 – 30 days after which the wine was transferred into French oak barriques (70% new and 30%
once used). The malolactic fermentation was completed in barriques.The wine remained in barriques for a
period of 18 months in the temperature controlled cellars at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia (each individual lot and
variety aged separately). After the first 12 months, the master blend was made and the wine reintroduced into
the barriques for the remaining 6 months. The wine was then racked and then gently fined prior to bottling
where the wine remained for a further 12 month period before release.