Ornellaia Bianco 2015
Ornellaia Bianco is Italy’s most ambitious white wine. It is a result of the Estate’s desire to translate the exceptional properties of its terroir not only into red wines, but also into this magnificent white.
The Ornellaia vineyard totals 280 acres that are divided into more than 70 vineyard plots according to soil type, exposition and varietal. There are three major soil types: marine (sedimentary deposit from the sea), alluvial (marly, sandy clays with mineral veins), and volcanic (schist, gravel and porous soils). All the vineyards are about 3 miles from the Mediterranean shore. The mild maritime climate features sea breezes that keep the sky clear, low rainfall, and long summers that favor the development of aromatic compounds.
Vineyards are planted at high density, from 5,000-8,700 hl/ha, and feature several training systems – spur-pruned cordon, single Guyot, and head-pruned vines.
The grapes were hand-harvested in 15 kg bins in the early hours of the morning and immediately cooled on arrival in the cellar to keep all their aromatic potential intact. Following careful selection the whole grape clusters were subjected to slow and soft pressing with maximum attention to protection against oxidization. After static decantation lasting approximately 24 hours, all the must was placed in barriques, 30% new and 70% used, for alcoholic fermentation at temperatures no higher than 22°C. No malolactic fermentation was carried out. The ageing continued for 12 months on the lees with periodic batonnage over the entire period, and concluded in steel vats for 3 more months. Before bottling, blending of the various batches was carried out, along with light fining. The wine was then aged in the bottle for a further 6 months before its introduction to the market.
After an unusual year in 2014, 2015 proved to be a very normal wine-making year, almost textbook. After a standard winter, wet and mild but with some days below 0°, germination happened on time during the first few days of April. Spring was characterized by dry and sunny weather, ideal conditions for normal vegetative growth that led to quick and full flowering at the end of May. From June water stress steadily arrived. July will be remembered as being particularly hot and dry, with peaks in temperature consistently above 30°C on every single day of the month. The heat wave, together with the lack of rain, gave rise to the fear that ripening would stop and that an early harvest would be necessary. Fortunately, rain arrived around 10th August with heavy rainfall that unblocked the ripening process, bringing with it some much fresher weather during the final phase of ripening. In this way, we could harvest in perfect conditions during the last 10 days in August.
Ornellaia Bianco was created through the desire of the winemaking team to express the exceptional characteristics of the Estate’s terroir, not only in red wine, in a great white wine. The produce of north facing vineyards planted on sandy clay-rich soils, the 2015 harvest was an almost perfect vintage. The effects of the blazing sun were once again softened by the microclimate of Bolgheri, gifting us with textbook conditions for ripening the grapes on the vines. This vintage has an intense but bright colour and its classic aroma of mature and lively citrus fruits, highlighted with subtle toasted and vanilla notes, are picked up on the nose. A full-bodied and juicy palate reflects the sunny season, but at the same time its vibrant acidity and crisp fruity character leave a very fresh and elegant impression in the mouth. The tasting finishes with a classic touch of saltiness and subtle toasty notes.
-Axel Heinz, Winemaker and Estate Director
Suggested Retail Price
Jeb Dunnuck - "The 2015 Ornellaia Bianco is a more rounded, powerful white compared to the 2016 and has ripe, sexy notes of honeyed melon, white flowers, honeysuckle, and subtle minerality. While its aromatics lack the precision and purity of the 2016, it's brilliant on the palate and offers full-bodied, pristine flavors, beautiful focus and precision, and a great finish. As with the 2016, this is pure Sauvignon Blanc brought up all in barrel, 30% being new."
More on Ornellaia Bianco 2015
May 12, 2019 - Ornellaia and winemaker Axel Heinz feature prominently in an article in Fortune about the rise of Bolgheri as one of the world's premiere winemaking regions. Read the full article here.
Other Wines by this Producer
Bolgheri DOC Superiore
Ornellaia is the estate's "Grand Vin", with exceptional balance, power, elegance, and great aging potential. It faithfully reflects, in every vintage, its nature, site, and distinctive Mediterranean personality.
Bolgheri DOC Rosso
Coming primarily from the Ornellaia's younger vineyard sites and made with the same passion and attention to detail as the estate's flagship wine, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia combines generosity and depth of flavor with an engaging and vibrant personality.
Toscana IGT Bianco
Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia is one of Italy's most innovative and progressive white wines, providing an altogether different experience of the Ornellaia estate and its Mediterranean influences.
Le Volte dell’Ornellaia combines a Mediterranean expression of generosity with structure and complexity, reflecting the philosophy of Ornellaia. It represents the first step into the Ornellaia family, and is an ideal wine for everyday enjoyment.
Toscana Bianco IGT
Ornus dell’Ornellaia is a late harvest Petit Manseng produced in extremely limited quantities and gives yet another dimension to the Estate. In certain vintages conditions are perfect in the tiny “Palmetta” vineyard for the production of this exclusive dessert wine. The name Ornus dell’Ornellaia takes its inspiration from ‘Fraxinus Ornus’, the Latin name for the Manna or Flowering Ash (in Italian, Orniello), the tree which has given its name to the Ornellaia. The “Manna Ash” Orniello or ‘Fraxinus Ornus’ is a tree which is typical to the Mediterranean coastal area. Its precious sap has been used since Biblical times as a sweetener and acts as a perfect link to the sweetness of Ornus dell’Ornellaia.