1998 is most likely the best vintage ever for Ornellaia. Petit Verdot was not yet used in the blend. Evolved bramble fruits meld with forest floor, helichrysum and Mediterranean herb aromas. On the palate this wine dazzles with the vibrancy of the best Pomerol-like minerality, with a tight-knit structure of velvety yet lively tannins amongst the fruit, and delicate acidity pushing a slightly pyrazinic finish with long, dark notes of Marmite and cigar-box supported by some citrus notes. (AF)
This is just a baby with so much extract and density yet always polished and beautiful. Full body, velvety tannins with a dusty and gritty texture. Complex flavors of fruit, tar and smoked meat. Solid all around. Powerful still. Drink or hold.
(2001 Wine of the Year) A cool and sleek Tuscan red, with tarragon and fresh sage aromas, blackberry and cherry undertones. Full-bodied, with a wonderfully silky palate of fine tannins and a long, fruity finish. Very sophisticated and reserved. *Cellar Selection*
Saturated, bright ruby-red. Great nose offers a full range of aromas cassis, raspberry, bitter chocolate, licorice, Asian spices. Dense, lush and sweet; a super-ripe Ornellaia that almost miraculously remains elegant. The raspberry and chocolate character follows through in the mouth. Finishes very fresh, with big, broad, chocolatey tannins and a late note of leather. Turned a bit more tannic with aeration, but this is still a rather feminine style of Ornellaia. This vintage offered perfect conditions, noted Duroux: a hot August, and dry conditions in August and September. (ST)
One of the highlights of the evening, the 1998 Ornellaia is not the most profound wine on the table, but it is among the most pleasing because it is in such a perfect place for current drinking. The aromatics are super-refined, but everything about the 1998 speaks to total polish. Hints of cedar, tobacco, licorice, mocha and savory herbs give the wine its nuanced personality. From magnum, the 1998 has another decade of fine drinking ahead of it. (AG)
Made in a relatively structured style for the normally succulent Ornellaia, the dense saturated ruby/purple-colored 1998 offers up aromas of pain grille, spice, smoke, black fruits, and graphite. Full-bodied, concentrated, exceptionally pure, and long, it will be at its finest between 2005-2018. Very impressive, but it requires patience.
Dark crimson and healthy glow. Aromatic, almost Cabernet Franc-like aromas. Very fresh rather than big and warm. Still lively, fine tannins. Pretty wine for food. 18/20 points. (JR)
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