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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Ornellaia Rosso Il Carisma
97POINTS
19/20

Ornellaia Rosso Il Carisma 2015

Bolgheri, Tuscany, ItalyOver the years the idea of nurturing the estate’s exceptional qualities has been a large part of Ornellaia’s philosophy. At a recent visit, I noted several ongoing renovations, all in the vineyards, as winemaker and general manager Axel Heinz drills down to the essence of the famed Bolgheri site, searching for the ultimate expression of what is a magical piece of land. Harmony is the goal, and it starts in the vineyard where grapes, clones, rootstocks and trellising is all under reassessment to maximize quality. In 2015, the vintage tag was “Il Carisma,” something Ornellaia has in spades most years. Of course, ’15 was exceptional and for those who know wines, it's the great years that solidify a wine's reputation. The blend is 53/23/17/7/ cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot. The wine is all about balance. Intensity with finesse is my take, including the colour, the fruit and the texture. The mix of red and black fruit is impeccable as are the nuanced balsamic notes. Long, dense, refined and layered, this is an excellent Ornellaia and one that will stand the test of time for decades. The winemaking at Ornellaia is classic: the clusters are hand-picked into 15 kilogram boxes and then re-selected by hand on a double sorting table before being crushed gently. Each variety and each single vineyard block is vinified separately. The fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks; skin contact was a maximum of 15 days. The French barrels are a blend of 70 percent new and 30 percent single use, and hold the vintage for 18 months. After a year has passed the blend is put together before returning to the oak for another six months. Hardly earth-shattering except for the due diligence with which it was all done. After bottling, Ornellaia spends a further year resting before its release. The tasting was part of a trilogy of Ornellaias: ’14, ’15, ’16.Tasted: 13 April 2019Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 240.00 BCLS AB 240.00 private wine shops ON 240.00 LCBO - Vintages QC 240.00 SAQ Producer: Tenuta dell'OrnellaiaDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot - Cabernet Franc - Petit VerdotCSPC: 359687UPC: 00877397001923