(2019) Again a fabulous perfume here, massive tobaccoey and ashy background, pure ripe cherry fruit, this is fabulously complex. So much ash and sweetness against the sour cherry and that creamy, sensual tobacco and smoke. Such juiciness and such elegant length, arguably a slightly lighter style, but has structure to age and is so deeply attractive.
(2019) Sublime: it has transformed into great old Burgundy! Sweet earth and truffle, autumnal damp leaves but still such a juicy and vital, linear bittersweet and fleshy core of fruit. The tobacco and ash, also some chocolate has developed, but staying so taut, fine, fragrant, elegant.
(2016) As he approaches his 80th birthday Gianfranco Soldera is still fully engaged and very much in command of this small, iconic estate in the hills of Tuscany. In a vertical tasting, all of the wines were just superb: truly world class red wines of infinite complexity and beauty and huge ageing potential. This 2006 had such a wonderful perfume, a massive tobacco and ashy background to pure, ripe cherry fruit, it is just fabulously complex. There's so much of that racy, vital character against immense sweetness of sour cherry and tobacco again, the texture and tannins creamy, but the agility and elegant length just majestic.
(2013) Ornellaia say that the 2010 vintage will be remembered for being a particularly late year: throughout the growing season the vines were 10 days behind normal, as a rainy spring was followed by a hot, dry summer, giving optimal development of the clusters. Still "Painstaking vineyard management, and careful leaf-pulling in particular," were needed to ensure quality. The 2010 is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. After fermentation in stainless steel the wines was aged for 18 months in barriques, around 70% of which were new. The colour is a saturated dark ruby with a tinge of purple. The nose is all restraint, class and sophistication as a delicate game and cedar emerges, then riper black fruits, but tobacco and smokiness, a certain earthiness, swirl around the blackcurrant giving this contemplative complexity. In the mouth it is hugely refined: there's a sheen of gloss, of vanilla and coffee, and there is no shortage of sweet, bursting and creamy black fruits, but the tension of the super-slick tannins and fine cherry-skin acidity tug away at the finish. Hints of earthiness, spices and minerality give a real edge of precision and grip as much as the tannins, into a long, very fine and pure finish. A superb wine this, surely with two decades of cellaring potential, its burgeoning richness and structure beautifully balanced.
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