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Ornellaia 2018 released for the first time

Super Tuscan estate Ornellaia has released its 2018 vintage, with one merchant praising the 'sensible' pricing.

Ornellaia 2018 was released this morning (1 April), coming into the market at a time when Italian wines are riding high in general.

Decanter critics Jane Anson and Aldo Fiordelli both recently rated Ornellaia 2018 at 96 points, following separate tastings.

As a pricing guide, the latest vintage of Ornellaia’s flagship wine was being offered at £800 per six bottles in bond by UK merchants Fine & Rare and Goedhuis & Co this morning (1 April).

That is below an ex-London release price for Ornellaia 2017 of £1,800 per 12 bottles in bond, as quoted by Liv-ex. Current market prices for the 2017 varied. Bordeaux Index was selling six bottles in bond for £765, for instance, with Farr Vintners selling 12 bottles in bond for £1,640.

Georgina Crawley, buyer and business development director at Goedhuis – one of Ornellaia’s official UK partners – said the 2018 price looked ‘incredibly fair and sensible’ in the context of the wider market.

‘We sent our offer [to customers] this morning and we’re already seeing huge demand,’ she told Decanter.

She added that the estate has been on an upward trajectory in general over recent years. ‘So much investment has gone in,’ she said.

How it tastes

In his tasting noted on the wine, Fiordelli remarked that Ornellaia 2018 was lighter than usual, which he attributed to a cooler vintage in general but also a ‘more thoughtful style’ from the estate.

Both he and Anson praised the wine’s complexity. Fiordelli said it was a ‘really great expression of Bolgheri, more focused on elegance than power’.

The 2018 vintage contains 51% of Merlot, the highest proportion of the grape variety in any Ornellaia vintage so far.

Super Tuscans on the market

Several market reports have recently highlighted strong demand for Super Tuscans, and Italian wines in general.

Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade, said this week that Italy’s buoyancy on the secondary market has continued in 2021.

Tua Rita Redigaffi 2018 and Sassicaia 2018 were the two most traded Italian wines by value on Liv-ex so far this year. Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo Monfortino Riserva 2014 ranked in third place.

At Goedhuis, Crawley said Super Tuscans in particular have long been popular with the merchant’s private clients.

She said top Super Tuscans were relatively obtainable in terms of price and quantity. Use of Bordeaux grapes in many cases means the wines have a familiarity, with ‘a bit Mediterranean magic’, she added.

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First taste: Ornellaia 2018 in-depth

First taste: Sassicaia 2018

Jane Anson: The latest releases via the Place de Bordeaux

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