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First taste: Ornellaia 2020

‘The array of aromas gives a hint of what is to come.’ Decanter's regional editor for Italy reports on the release of Ornellaia 2020.

For the third year in a row, Ornellaia has launched the new vintage of its flagship SuperTuscan via international livestream, broadcast from the winery in Bolgheri.

During the livestream, estate director, Axel Heinz described the 2020 as ‘a classic Ornellaia’. He also noted that, ‘for once, it was our only priority because we had nothing else to do,’ referring to the effects of several lockdowns that year.

The 2020 vintage

The end of March saw some frost, although the vine shoots escaped damage, unlike at Sassicaia.

Mid-June saw some excessively wet weather, but then it was dry and hot until the end of August. Cooling rains at the end of the month gave the Merlot time to fully ripen before picking, which took place in the first half of September.

A heat-spike shortly after all the Merlot was in led the team to begin picking the rest of the grapes to avoid high sugar levels – picking of the younger vines of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon commenced on 17 September.

Rainfall at the end of September normalised the temperature and brought the potential alcohol down to typical levels. The last grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot were picked on 3 October.

A generally earlier-ripening vintage along the lines of 2000 and 2012.

Scroll down to see the tasting note & score for Ornellaia 2020

Tasting Ornellaia 2020:

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