The 1995 Ornellaia (magnum) is remarkably fresher than the same wine from bottle. There is a warm, almost exotic quality to the luxurious, rich fruit. Sweet tobacco and licorice add further layers of nuance and flavor. In magnum the wine still has a few years left, but bottles are further along in their evolution and need to be drunk over the next few years. The 1995 is a rather unique Ornellaia in that only a portion of the wine (40%) finished its malolactic fermentation in barrique, while the majority of the wine underwent malo in cask. The blend is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, and the percentage of new oak is 39%. (AG)
Is the 1995 Ornellaia better than previous vintages? It is too soon to know, but this is unquestionably another stunning wine in what has been a strong succession of top wines since 1988. The color is a saturated, thick-looking, ruby/purple. The nose offers up aromas of roasted coffee, jammy black cherry liqueur, and cassis intermixed with spice. On the palate, the wine is rich and full-bodied, with well-integrated wood, tannin, and acidity. Pure, youthful, and accessible, this impressively endowed wine should drink well for 10-15+ years. (RP)
A wine that emphasizes finesse rather than power. Plenty of dried herb and berry character, with a hint of mint. Medium- to full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Greatest Ornellaia in years. (JS)
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