The time flies and we are mid-November already. Whilst I am organizing my appointments for our Burgundy trip from next Sunday, Lukasz reminded me that I have still not released the 2020 Ornallaia which was scheduled for release in September. It's not like I am trying to hoard the whole allocation for myself, just that last few weeks were taken over by trying to get as much stock into the UK before Christmas rush but avoiding the heat which was sitting over Europe till late September. Still, better late than never, so here we go.
Tenuta Ornallaia, Ornellaia 2020, Bolgheri - £ 925.00 per 6 bott under bond
I tasted/drunk the 2020 incarnation of Ornellaia 4 times this year with pretty consistent notes. The first was in March at the release, then in a comparative tasting with other great Bolgheri estatess in April followed by another in June in much smaller setting and finally a sample bottle in our shop in September. The wine is classic Ornellaia in appearance, deep, dark, almost black in colour, but shiny and bright; very inviting. Nose is quite tight when first opened, but concentrated and intense, opening slowly and getting more expressive over 24- 48 h. Ornallaia always feels to me like left bank Bordeaux from hot, dry vintages but with a bit more spice and weight and the 2020 is no exception. Soft, ripe, late summer dark fruit dominates throughout, with just a hint of soft wood and spice in the background at this stage. Long, dry autumn had given plants enough time to ripen slowly and construct very complex tannins which will take time to release the richness within, but the cooler nights in September had preserved acidity , so there is uplift at the finish. All in all, a very hedonistic expression of Ornallaia which will need 3-4 years to start releasing complex aromatic structure which lies underneath. It reminds me quite a bit of the 2015 which is just starting to drink and will go on for at last 10 - 15 years form here. Looking at the reviews and notes from various critics (below), everyone seems to be finding the richness and complexity, but they all seem to be quite restrained in their ratings. I am quite certain that once the wine has had enough time to settle in the bottle the ratings will be higher. In any case, this is classic Orni and more than well worth having in the cellar. Furthermore, it had been released below it's main competitor for the Bolgheri crown (Sassicaia), which makes it quite a decent deal, so worth dropping a penny or 3 into it.
Wishing you all the best from Richmond