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Ornellaia 2016 "La Tensione," and the 11th Edition of Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista

Posted on February 12, 2019

New York, 12 February 2019. The desire to nurture the Estate’s exceptional qualities has shaped Ornellaia’s philosophy since the beginning. Ornellaia is a cuve?e of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot and the faithful expression of unique terroir developed in harmony with nature.

As what seems to be becoming increasingly the norm, the winter of 2016 was characterized by abnormally warm weather with heavy rainfall in February. Budbreak took place on time in the last week of March. The abundance of water in the soil and the warm weather in April led to quick and normal vegetative vine growth. Towards May temperatures returned to normal, slowing the growth down slightly, bringing about the flowering which took place in the last week of May with dry sunny weather, perfect for a good fruit- set. The summer was average with very little rain favoring a notable water stress towards the end of the ripening stage.

The usual August holiday period storms were also absent, maintaining a state of hydric stress through the first part of the harvest, but luckily with temperatures that significantly cooled off at night, allowing the vines to recover from the daytime temperatures. Ripening went on steadily building up excellent phenolic potential and a balanced sugar/acidity ratio. Harvest started early on the 24th August with young vine Merlot. By mid-September a few rain showers arrived, that allowed to complete harvest under virtually perfect conditions, sunny, but moderately warm, and enough water in the soil to prevent the vines from shutting down. Harvest was concluded on the 12th of October with the last Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

“2016 represents another immensely successful vintage highlighting all the virtues of Bolgheri’s climate: abundant sunshine, without excessive heat, a dry summer to allow the grapes to achieve perfect ripeness and concentration, and just about enough rain to avoid stress. All these elements combine to yield a wine that shows lush ripeness and crisp firmness, opposing forces creating a sense of dense raciness we like to describe as ‘tension’.” Axel Heinz, Estate Director
“A particularly dark and young color is the prelude to a complex nose of blackberries, spices and cedar. The palate is rich and dense, balanced by a refined and firm tannic structure, lifted by a juicy and bright acidity.” Olga Fusari, Winemaker

For the 11th edition of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista, Ornellaia commissioned the artist Shirin Neshat to interpret the unique character of Ornellaia 2016 “La Tensione” (Tension) through her distinctively disruptive and poetic visual language. This illustrious photographer, filmmaker and video-artist utilized all three mediums to allude to this vintage’s dynamism and strength, using the words of the illustrious 11th-century Persian poet, Omar Khayya?m. The artist has created a site-specific art installation for the Estate, as well as a customized limited series of 111 large format bottles, in addition to a special label that will adorn a single bottle in each case of 6 standard 750ml bottles of Ornellaia.

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