Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Le Volte dell' Ornellaia 2013-Tuscany's Diversity in a Single Glass ($31)
By Dwight Casimere
The wines of Tuscany are among the most legendary and desired in all of Europe. The region is a destination of choice for eno-tourists and the preference for wine buyers selecting Italian wine from the shelf. Each of the wines has its own unique expression. Now comes a wine that expresses the whole of the best that Tuscany has to offer in a single bottle; Le Volte dell' Ornellaia 2013. ($31). A blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, this IGT wine is one of the most popular and sought after from the region. Highly rated by both Wine Spectator, the 2009 vintage was awarded a Bronze from the International Wine Challenge and a Commendation from the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Before we get into the flavors of this amazing wine, we must delve into its pedigree, which is considerable. It's no accident that this is one of the most well-crafted and flavorful Tuscany wines that you will ever have. First of all, it comes from the Bolgheri region of Tuscany, one of the most storied of all time, and home to the renowned Sassicaia wines. Wholly owned by the Frescobaldi family, one of the oldest and most celebrated wine producing families in the region, Le Volte is a carefully crafted blend that brings together the best terrors of Tuscany. Its structure and complexity are the result of its Mediterranean expression of opulence and generosity. Cabernet gives it depth, Sangiovese, its lively personality and 'brightness," and Merlot mellows out the rich tannins to give it a soft, pleasing finish. This unique blend, reflects the integrity and style that inspire the philosophy behind the Ornellaia Estate. Ornellalia represents Bolgheri's fantastic predisposition for Bordeaux's blends that have made this area famous throughout the world.
The wine is redolent of ripe fruit and possesses all of the finesse and structure of the area's most acclaimed Super Tuscans. The wine is crafted with the greatest care. Each of the different varietals is fermented separately in steel tanks, then aged for 10 months in small oak barrels and partly in cement tanks to obtain the perfect balance between tannic structure and expressions of fresh fruit. The result is a wine brimming with fresh fruit flavor and intense color that is smooth on the palate with vibrant acidity and a pleasurable and inviting aftertaste. There are pronounced flavors of ripe black berries, a touch of black pepper and the slight aftertaste of pomegranate and a hint of licorice. Slight touches of dried thyme and crushed violets and a whiff of allspice complete the merry-go-round of delightful flavor sensations. There's a lot going on with this wine. More than you'd expect from one costing just $31.
"Ornellaia is the quintessential expression of Bolgheri and its terroir," says the estate's agronomist and general manager Leonardo Raspini, who along with Alexandra Belson, Commercial Director, and Axel Heinz, Winemaker, comprise The Team, which guide the evolution and growth of Ornellaia.
The wines of Ornellaia are fact becoming among the most sought after in the world. Currently, they are distributed in 60 countries, 30% in Italy and 70% worldwide. Bottles are delivered directly to the most prestigious clients and major collectors. Demand, at present, outstrips availability. Ornellaia was, for 5 consecutive years, among the top vie Italian wines in the special classification obtained by summing the point scores of the major Italian wine guides.
The wine is great with food, especially a hearty steak, grilled ribs or lamb chops or a hearty beef stew. I prepared short ribs, cooked with fresh garlic, shallots, field onions, pearl onions and fresh garden rosemary and thyme, a rainbow of fresh carrots and multi-colored mini potatoes slow cooked in a sauce made from the wine. The results were heavenly. Save a bit of the wine and the stew for the next day. They are both bound to intensify in flavor and give you an even more pleasurable dining experience. Buon Appetito!