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2016 Ornellaia Bianco

2016 Ornellaia Bianco

95 RP


Critic Reviews

This is a fantastic white. The greatest Ornellaia white so far. Very complex and dense yet, at the same time, energetic and vivid. This shows so much richness and density with a pretty, phenolic texture that keeps you entranced. Full-bodied with lots of honeysuckle, green-melon and cooked-apple character. Very long and flavorful. Dynamic and great wine. Drinkable now, but better in 2021.

James Suckling | 99 JS
The star of the show with regard to the whites is unquestionably the 2016 Ornellaia Bianco. It’s reminiscent of a great vintage of Domaine de Chevalier with its incredible purity, precision, and length, displaying notes of clean citrus, melon, white flowers, and honeyed minerality. Fresh and vibrant as well as rich and powerful, it’s medium-bodied, seamless, and flawlessly balanced on the palate, with a thrilling finish. While it’s beautiful today, it should keep for 10-15 years or more. The 2016 is 100% Sauvignon Blanc that was brought up in 30% new French oak.

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD
A cooler but drier year than 2015, making an interesting comparison between Ornellaia Bianco’s only two 100% Sauvignon Blanc vintages. Smoky lanolin notes lead to a concentrated, intense and juicy palate with creamy nectarine, grilled pineapple and citrus zest. Despite heading towards all-out exoticism, however, the 2016 is corseted and refined, demonstrating a push-pull between juicy, ripe tropical fruits and mineral restraint, suggesting there is much more to come from this wine. The individual base wines were fermented in barriques (30% new) with no malolactic fermentation, then aged on the lees for up to 18 months with occasional batonnage. A final three months on steel was completed before blending and bottling.

Decanter | 96 DEC
The 2016 Ornellaia Bianco is a beguiling wine, even a bit deceptive when you get down to facts. This is indeed the central part of its irresistible charm. For one, this edition is a mono-variety wine made solely with Sauvignon Blanc. (The other protagonist of the blend, Viognier, is said to return in 2017.) However, the complexity of the bouquet could mistakenly make you think the blend is more intricate. You get white rose, crisp apple, saffron, toasted pine nut, cinnamon and wild sage. The aromas show brilliant detailing. In addition, the wine is expansive and creamy in terms of mouthfeel. However, none of the whites at Ornellaia—including this wine—undergo malolactic fermentation, though the creamy and richly textured mouthfeel might lead you to conclude otherwise. This classic vintage is especially generous and rich. The wine does see barrique aging, but only a third of the wood is new. Those spicy endnotes serve to frame the beautiful fruit that sits squarely at center stage.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP
The 2016 Ornellaia Bianco has more nuance, freshness and layers of flavors than the 2015 tasted alongside it. I very much like the delineation and energy that are such signatures of the 2016.

Vinous Media | 93-95 VM
The 2016 Ornellaia Bianco looks more mature than the 2015 and Heinz comments that it may have had a little too long in oak - 18months - which was longer than in other vintages. Although 2016 was cooler than 2015 - so you might expect more freshness - it was also much drier than 2015. This 2016 has an orange-gold tone to the color and a slightly, nutty, dried fruit aromatic profile with lightly perfumed spice notes. The texture is great, more of a full, voluptuous style with a medium-long finish. The 2016 is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps lacking a little freshness and vibrancy, but has a lovely silky weight and a gentle savory finish.

The Wine Independent | 93 TWI

Wine Details for 2016 Ornellaia Bianco

Type of Wine Super Tuscan/IGT : Many grape varietals are planted all over the world so they're not typical for one single country anymore. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc form part of many blends coming from different countries. Super Tuscan wines are produced in this Italian region, but grape varietals used in the making are not indigenous - those are mostly Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Varietal Proprietary Blend : Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

Country Italy : Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.

Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.

The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.

The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.

With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.

Region Tuscany : Italian culture worships the concept of a shared meal, and their wines scream for a chance to be uncorked with your friends and family. The region's Mediterranean climate and hilly landscape combine to create a beautiful viticultural environment, where every chosen grape is brought to its full potential and transmuted into drinks worthy of gods. The vineyards are planted along the higher reaches of the hill slopes, creating a gorgeous view of the Italian landscape.

Once your lips kiss the wine, you're sent spiraling down a veritable whirlpool of pure flavor, touching upon notes of sensuous cherry, nuts, floral hints and undertones of honey and minerals. The wines can be as sweet as a fresh summer romance, and carry an air of dignity and elegance about them that can stimulate your intellect for months as you contemplate the seemingly infinite intricacies and details in the texture. Tuscany is an important part of Italian viticulture, and sampling their wines is the closest you can get to visiting this heavenly region and experiencing the culture.


Producer Ornellaia

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