Ornellaia 2016 (1.5L)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
98+ JD / 98 WA / 98 JS / 97 DE / 96+ VM
#30 Jeb Dunnuck’s Top 100 Wines of 2019
The artist Shirin Neshat has been chosen to interpret the character “La Tensione” (Tension) of the Ornellaia 2016 vintage. For the eleventh edition of the project Vendemmia d’Artista she has created a work of art for the estate, customized a limited series of bottles in large format, and designed a label that, expressing the vintage character, will be inserted in each Ornellaia case containing 6 bottles of 750ml.
From a great vintage for Bolgheri, the 2016 Ornellaia is a classic blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot that was aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. Its saturated purple color is followed by a deep, beautifully concentrated yet primordial effort that offers serious intensity in its cassis, black cherry, graphite, bay leaf, forest floor, and spring flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and multi-dimensional on the palate, it has thrilling purity of fruit, ample tannins, and a great, great finish. This is a tour de force in red wine that needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades. - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping. Monica Larner – The Wine Advocate
An astoundingly vibrant, powerful and concentrated Ornellaia that has a wealth of intense dark cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of espresso, dark cocoa powder and cedar. The concentrated palate is framed in long, regal tannins that bring focus to the plush, ripe and fresh black cherries and dark plums. Extremely balanced. Best from 2025. James Suckling
Ornellaia 2016 is a top example of this estate in Bolgheri and its legendary longevity will not betray it. Less extracted than in the past, it's more restrained yet perfectly ripe and with a great intensity of aromas. It opens up with spicy notes of clove and nutmeg, followed by brambly fruit and a kind of iodine mineral character in depth, finishing with an amazing length of tobacco. The super-fine, oaky style needs time to integrate with the firm yet velvety tannins and refreshing acidity. Drinking Window 2019 – 2045 AF – Decanter.com
Just bottled, the 2016 Ornellaia is a dense, powerful wine. Naturally, the 2016 is just at the beginning of its life, but I am struck by how polished the tannins are for such a young wine. Ornellaia is at its best starting around age ten, but there is little doubt the 2016 is a hugely promising wine. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, new leather and a range of spice notes all build into a veritable crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures.
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