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Ornellaia 2018 (750ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

97 VM / 97 JS / 96 DE / 95 WS / 95 WA / 17 JR

#66 James Suckling's Top 100 Italian Wines of 2021

For the 13th edition of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista, Jan Fabre interprets the character “La Grazia” (Grace) of Ornellaia 2018, chosen to describe the sense of symmetry, proportion and harmony expressed in the nobility of the wines. The artist has created a site-specific masterpiece for the Estate, a limited series of 111 large-sized bottles and a series of 10 labels for the 750 ml bottle, the first of which is contained in each case of 6 bottles.


The 2018 Ornellaia is an introvert at this stage. Medium in body, with terrific persistence and impeccable balance, the 2018 is not in any mood to show all its cards today. Hints of red berry fruit, mocha, spice, licorice and dried flowers emerge with a bit of coaxing. I won’t be surprised to see it put on weight with more time in bottle. There is certainly plenty to look forward to. Readers should expect a silky, aromatic Ornellaia in line with vintages such as 2004 that are more about finesse than raw power. This is the first time in which Merlot drives the blend in Ornellaia. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

So aromatic and complex with blackcurrants, blueberries, fresh violets and lavender on the nose. Some graphite and iodine, too. Medium to full body with firm, chewy tannins that are polished and refined, yet the palate is so long and refined. This is an Ornellaia with strength in elegance. Try after 2025. - James Suckling

Ornellaia 2018 is appealingly gentle now, but its tannin quality and fruit clarity suggest it has the attributes for greatness over the next 15 years or more. It is also notable for its unusually high Merlot content at 51% (with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot). The Merlot benefitted, it seems, from 2018's alternate bouts of hot, sunny weather interspersed with reviving showers. A fruit-packed Ornellaia with bright flavours and a moreish, silky-smooth and sophisticated texture allied to a potentially wide drinking window. - Monty Waldin, Decanter

Complex, sophisticated and harmonious, this pure red is marked by black currant, black cherry, cedar, iron and light spice flavors. Bright and focused, with refined tannins emerging on the spice-tinged finish. Discreet and stylish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2040. From Italy. - BS, Wine Spectator

The 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is complete and seamlessly stitched together with extreme care and precision. This is an almost technical blend of Merlot (at 50% of the blend for the first time), 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot that offers a true sense of wholeness and consistency that speaks to the blending expertise and experience of the winemaking team. Finding harmony among the various vinous components of the wine was especially important in this vintage that prized early-ripening grapes like Merlot over the others. Blackberry and dried cherry segue to spice, tar, campfire ash and more sweet fruit. We're off to a great start, and this vintage of Ornellaia is surely destined to flesh out and grow more complex with age. MOnica Larner - The WIne Advocate

Very lustrous, medium deep crimson. Although Merlot is the dominant variety, the wine smells more obviously of Cabernet. Rich and slightly saline on the nose. Pretty obvious sandy tannins after a sweet start and a distinctly velvety texture. A completely different style from the Sassicaia – so much riper and lightly oaky. A little note of inkiness – much, much less opulent than most Ornellaias, but very much more opulent than Sassicaia 2018. You could enjoy this now – with food – but it's clearly not fully ready. - Jancis Robinson

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