Founded in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori, Ornellaia began as a project to explore the possibilities offered by Bordeaux varieties in the rolling hills of Bolgheri. The estate rose to prominence as the vineyards matured in the 1990s, under the watchful eye of Michel Rolland as consulting oenologist, and was controversially acquired by the Frescobaldi family via Robert Mondavi, to whom Lodovico sold the estate in 2002. The esteem in which the estate is held is such that the appellation of Bolgheri Superiore DOC was created specifically for Ornellaia, and for other wines made in its image.
Following a wet and rainy growing season, warm weather blowing in from North Africa hastened the ripening process in August and September, and resulted in outstanding complexity from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines, which play a significant role in this vintage. 18 months ageing in barriques, with 12 months in bottle before release. The character of the vintage promoted a superb balance in this wine, with ripe flavours from the Cabernet varietals balanced by the weight of the 5% Petit Verdot and higher acidity from the Merlot portion.
Excellent with the dark meat from poultry and game-birds, perfect for a wild boar stew, a quintessentially Tuscan treat.
2009 was quite a different vintage in Bolgheri from that experienced in Bordeaux, which saw dry weather throughout thee growing season; this wine balances the expressive character of a 2009 Bordeaux with the bright acidity (and therefore ageing potential) of a more classic Bordeaux vintage.