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Tenuta dell' Ornellaia Ornellaia Bolgheri 2004

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2013-11-21


Among all wines that were bought and sold this week on the Exchange, let's take a look at Tenuta dell' Ornellaia Ornellaia Bolgheri 2004.

Bolgheri is one of Italy’s most prestigious vineyard areas, with a reputation based around terroir-driven Bordeaux style blends from iconic estates such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia.  The main focus of the Bolgheri DOC is the importance of terroir and for this reason, the Bolgheri Rosso and Bolgheri Superiore wines are labeled without the mention of grapes, as terroir is considered more significant than grape varieties. It is also why Bolgheri wines are reputed for their true expressions of terroir.

Tenuta dell' Ornellaia Ornellaia Bolgheri 2004 reached a market price peak of £1403.76 at the beginning of November and is now hovering around £1,380, with the most recent trade on the Exchange at a level of £1244.

'The 2004 Ornellaia (magnum) has always been a beautiful wine, but stylistically it stands out quite a bit from other vintages of this era, something that is particularly evident in this tasting. The 2004 is perhaps the most delicate, feminine Ornellaia ever made. Silky tannins frame a perfumed core of ripe fruit all the way through to the sublime finish. The wine's inner fragrance, sweetness and balance are all impeccable. The 2004 remains one of my all-time favorite Ornellaias, and it is firing on all cylinders on this night. In 2004 the growing season was long and even, with a cool early summer and warmer late summer. Yields were on the high side, as the vines released the stored energy they had held in reserve from the previous year, which required the estate to aggressively green harvest in order to keep the plants in balance. The 2004 Ornellaia is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The relatively high percentage of Cabernet Franc may explain the 2004's gorgeous, vivid bouquet. The wine spent a total of 18 months in oak (70% new) prior to being bottled. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.' 95 points, Antonio Galloni

Interestingly, the younger 2009 vintage, rated 97 points by Robert Parker, gravitates around a market price of £1,108. It slightly dropped from its release price of £1186. This raises two questions. First, can the 2004 stand as a benchmark against which younger vintages are compared? In which case will the 2009 follow the same trajectory over the next few years?


2009 or 2010 Bordeaux – expressions of great wine

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2013-11-15


The 2009 Annual Bordeaux Tasting organised by The Institute of the Masters of Wine recently highlighted the high standard and homogeneity of Bordeaux 2009.

The best Medocs were beautifully perfumed, notably throughout the Graves, Margaux, and St. Julien. Where freshness was retained, the very ripe fruit lifted by fresh acidity, the wines were both easy to taste and delineated.

Examples that stood out were:
Pontet Canet with a refined, liqueur texture, fabulous confit yet crystalline, vivid fruit, and a velvety finish.
Leoville Barton was extremely pretty for a property that typically makes very structured long-term wines, exciting and fresh with wonderful aromatics.
Montrose was immense, and so confidently poised within its powerful structure.
Mission Haut Brion was truly fine; beautifully perfumed, noble fruit, dusty tannins in no way inhibiting a very long finish.
Sister property Haut Brion showed in a more structured vein, bright fruits, yeast and cedar on the nose, uplifting with a real sense of energy underlying the progression of flavours. Haut Brion was a beacon of how great 2009 can be when ripe fruit, acidity, structure and energy come together to create a unique, visceral experience. It also served to highlight how unctuous and relatively soft so many of the other wines in 2009 really are. And this isn't necessarily a good thing for the long term.

At a recent dinner tutored by Edouard Moueix where he showed La Fleur Petrus 2009 and 2010 side by side, the 2009 was unctuous and richly textured. The 2010 had more clearly delineated elements, showed as being far more complex, with wave after wave of nuanced flavours through an almost interminable finish.

Back in 2011, in the heat-wave of that Bordeaux spring, 2010 also showed brilliantly. Where wines were compared side by side, the 2010 vintage got my vote almost every time, including beauties from:
Calon Segur
Cheval Blanc
Haut Brion
Haut-Bailly
La Conseillante
L’Eglise-Clinet
La Mission Haut-Brion
Latour
Le Pin
Margaux
Montrose
Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Rauzan Segla
Vieux Chateau Certan

So for me whilst the two vintages are both extraordinary; I prefer the definition, balance, complexity and enduring length of flavour so commonly found in the best 2010 red Bordeaux, which gets my vintage vote bar a few exceptions like Leoville Barton.


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