Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2023 (JS-98)
Alluring aromas of lead pencil and currants with crushed stone and iodine. Full-bodied with hemmed in tannins that are tight and focused. Very fresh and energetic with wonderful length and intensity for this vintage. Needs four or five years to come together. Better in 2028 and onwards.
Source: The Wine Advocate; Published: May 31, 2023 (RP-97)
The 2020 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with small percentages of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It opens to an impenetrable, full-bodied approach with dark fruit, pencil shaving, toasted oak, Spanish cedar, campfire ash and iron ore. For sure, this is an especially concentrated and oak-driven vintage of this iconic wine. It absolutely requires more aging time. It feels quite tight and firm in its youth. The concentration is abundant.
Following a very productive 17 years at Masseto and Ornellaia, Estate Director Axel Heinz announced in March of this year that he was leaving his position. He will join Château Lascombes in Bordeaux as CEO. Axel was born in Germany, raised in France and established a brilliant winemaking career in Italy. “It makes it difficult to know which national soccer team to root for,” he once joked with me. Under his time at Masseto and Ornellaia, the two brands grew in respective strength with individual identities. His new releases command some of the highest prices in Italian wine and are sought after by collectors worldwide. Axel oversaw the construction of the new Masseto winery, and he launched a second wine called Massetino (new vintages of both are reviewed here). Axel was quoted in the Italian press as saying, “Italy will stay in my heart forever, but it’s time to go back to France.”
The 2019 vintage provided the inspiration, characterized by highly variable conditions interspersed with cold, wet spells and long periods of heat and drought. After a changeable spring and an almost perfect summer, the lower temperatures at the end of September resulted in wines of great finesse and aromatic abundance. This is a powerful, mysterious and intriguing wine, whose first sip does not reveal all its facets, but envelops the palate, curious to grasp its myriad nuances.