- 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, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot
“2004 can be considered as one of the major expressions of Ornellaia and represents an excellent example of a classic
vintage in Bolgheri. The ideal conditions during the growing season lead to a perfect combination of ripeness, flavour
complexity and finesse. The velvety opulence of the Merlot is balanced out by the racy and elegant tannic structure of the
Cabernets, which are further amplified by the small addition of Petit Verdot.”
THE 2004 GROWING SEASON
The weather of the 2004 growing season could be described as textbook-perfect. Winter saw adequate rainfall,
without excessive temperatures, and a sunny Spring was punctuated by brief showers. Budbreak took place
between 30 March and 10 April. Flowering revealed a high fertility of the buds, ( resulting from the warm
conditions of the previous year). The potentially high yield was kept within desired quality limits by repeated
and severe bunch-thinning. Early summer was mild with moderate temperatures followed by a hot, sunny
August. These conditions were ideal in favouring a steady, physiological development of all the grape varieties.
During the harvest period no rain interrupted the ripening, thus providing sufficient time to determine the
perfect date for the harvest of each single vineyard block. The first Merlot grapes, sourced from the youngest
vineyards, were harvested on 2 September , but the majority reached full ripeness between 15-25 September,
directly followed by the Cabernet Franc. Harvesting of the Cabernet Sauvignon commenced on 25 September,
and was concluded in the first week of October.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The bunches were hand-picked into 15 kg bins, and the fruit was carefully graded and selected on a double
sorting table, before and after destemming, After a light crushing, each variety and vineyard block was vinified
separately giving birth to a total of 51 different base wines each interpreting the considerable diversity of the
Estate’s terroirs. A week-long fermentation was carried out at 26-30°C in stainless steel, followed by a
maceration of 18 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in oak barrels (70% new and 30% once used). The
wine remained in barriques in the temperature controlled cellars of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia for a total period of
18 months. After the first 12 months the master blend was made. The wine was then re-introduced into
barrique where it spent the remaining 6 months, followed by 12 months in the bottle prior to release.