Peter Maude Fine Wines

2018, Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia


Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot.

The 2018 Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is everything a second wine should be. Open-knit and silky, with impeccable balance and tons of sheer appeal, the 2018 is exquisite today. I would prefer to drink it on the early side in order to capture all of its freshness. In some vintages, Le Serre Nuove can be a bit imposing; in 2018 is all charm and seduction. 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2020).

The 2018 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that is aged in oak for 15 months. The wine shows depth, concentration and generous fruit weight that adds to the intensity and the textural importance of this abundant, full-bodied expression. Late-season rains threw some challenges at the winemakers of Bolgheri, but this open-knit wine has emerged unscathed. This vintage was released in September of last year, but I have also written a review in this report of the younger 2019 vintage (which will be released in September of this year). 93 Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (2021).

The second wine of Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove combines the same varieties in different proportions to make a more accessible expression of the estate. Merlot takes priority here, joined by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, matured in oak (25% new) for 15 months. Ripe black and red berry aromas and a waft of herbs lead to an intense palate of chocolate- and coffee-infused hedgerow berries with hints of cigar tobacco and violets. The ripe tannins are succulent and fine-grained, and the finish is lifted by a streak of red fruit coulis. It expresses all the muscle of Ornellaia but in an easier-drinking package. Enjoy with roast rib of beef or even furred game. 92 James Button, Decanter (2020).

Crackling with personality, this has a lovely mix of dark chocolate shavings, liquorice, sweet cedar, raspberry, sage and Tuscan underbrush. Really one to savour, holds its grip through the palate and is juicy, nuanced and mouthwatering. A brilliant second wine, made mainly from the younger vines of Ornellaia. 17% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Aged in oak (25% new) for 15 months, with six months further ageing in bottle before release. 93 Jane Anson, Decanter (2021).

Le Serre Nuove's approachable style comes from younger vines or those on lighter, sandier soils, whilst retaining its potential to age in bottle. 2018 brought useful winter dormancy, provocative spring deluges, hot August flushes, and cool, calming harvest nights. It's a sophisticated red with smooth, Ornellaia-esque appeal in a lighter key. Its forward-flowing, velvety fruit is well defined, clear, persistent and easy to engage with. Tannins from both fruit and oak are integrated and in sync. 95 Monty Waldin, Decanter (2021).

Drinking Window: 2022 - 2033

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