Not too many months ago I had the opportunity to purchase six different bottles of Italian wines from a national distributor. I am sharing my thoughts on one of those wines, the 1997 Ornellaia red wine, in this week’s blog.
Ornellaia (pronounced o-nell-eye-ay) is one the iconic wine estates of Italy. The estate is known for producing charming and opulent “Super Tuscan” wines. The vineyards were planted in 1981 and have now grown to about 220 acres. The first wine was produced in 1985. The winery was built on the property in 1987.
The vineyard is located in the Bolgheri DOC wine region located about 450 miles northwest of Rome and lies in the Province of Livorno in Italy.
The Ornellaia was founded and owned by the Antinou family for a number of years. In 1999 the Robert Mondavi family became partial owners and by 2002 had acquired a 100% interest in the operation. At the same time they were initiating a partnership with the Frescobaldi Family. In 2005 the family acquired the balance of the partnership and owned the entire estate. Today Axel Heinz is the Winemaker and Estate Manager.
The 1997 Ornellaia
The wine is a Bordeaux-style blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine was a dark ruby color with aromas of black fruit and pencil lead. On the palate the wine was full-bodied with some earthiness, rounded acidity and balanced tannins. The finish was relatively long with a gripping mouth feel. The wine appeared to me to be near the top of its drinking window; however it should drink well for another four to five years.
The wine received some favorable ratings. Robert Parker rated it at 95 out of 100 points, Jamie Good’s rating was 97 out of 100 points while Falstaff Magazine rated it at 96 out of 100 points.
I would assume the only opportunity you would have to purchase this wine would be online. For information on the wine shops that have it available go to www.wine-searcher.com. It was a fun wine to taste but when I looked at wine-searcher I found the average price to be $295.00 per bottle (not anywhere what I paid). I think the wine is good, but at that number it’s a little pricey.
Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner With Iechyd Da Brewing Company
Mark your calendars for the next LEX 530 Wine Dinner which will be held on October 15, 2019, at the LEX 530 Event Center in Elkhart. This Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner will feature premium wines selected by vintner Carl Tiedemann as well as craft beers provided by Iechyd Da Brewing Company. The event begins at 6:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $80 each. Go here to buy tickets for this exciting event.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- November 7 – International Merlot Day
- November 14 – International Tempranillo Day
- November 20 – International Zinfandel Day
- December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
- December 20 – National Sangria Day
- December 31 – National Champagne Day