Steven Spurrier's top wines to take out from the cellar
From the cellar: Ornellaia
A tasting of two decades of Ornellaia took place at Sotheby’s before an auction whose record-breaking prices showed that this estate now equals, if not surpasses, its elder neighbour Sassicaia, with whom it has shared the Bolgheri Rosso Superiore DOC since 1999.
Cabernet Sauvignon usually dominates the final blend, followed by Merlot, Cabernet Franc and recently a little Petit Verdot. The first vintage was 1985 and the head winemaker is Axel Heinz. The 2010 vintage (53% Cabernet Sauvignon) has a rich and velvety coffee bean nose over cassis, drink 2016–2035, 19/20pts (96/100). The 2009 (52%) is a little cooked, but Cabernet Franc lifts it, 2015–2025, 17 (90). The 2008 (54%) is denser than 2009, powerful yet fragrant, black fruits, tannins softening to a velvety texture, 2013–2025, 18.5 (95). The 2007 (55%) is very Tuscan, more structure than finesse, 2013–2020, 17 (90). The 2004 (60%) has wonderful fragrance, hidden strength in perfect harmony, 2013–2030, 19 (96). In 2001 (65%) Cabernet Sauvignon dominates with fine middle sweetness and a firm finish, 2013–2025, 18 (93). The 1999 (65%) is a broad Cabernet, 2013–2018, 17 (90). The 1990 (82%) is a fragrant, textured wine, perfect for 2013, 18 (93).
Taken from the September 2013 issue of Decanter magazine