Tag Archives: Axel Heinz

Ernesto Neto interprets Ornellaia 2014 ‘L’Essenza.’

ernesto-neto-signature-ornellaia-2014The Bolgheri Estate presents the 9th edition of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project.

Artist Ernesto Neto has created unique labels that will dress a limited edition of numbered large-size bottles of Ornellaia, 9 lots of which will be auctioned by Sotheby’s at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, which will receive the proceeds. 

The Brazilian artist who works with the Huni Kuin tribe is inspired by Mother Nature to convey the character of the 2014 vintage.

The art project has now donated more than 1 million euros to art foundations and museums across the globe

For this year’s 9th annual Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista art project, which was launched in 2009, in which Bolgheri-based Ornellaia selects an internationally-famous artist to create an artwork that will interpret the distinctive character of each individual vintage, Ornellaia has commissioned Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto to illustrate Ornellaia 2014 “L’Essenza”. http://www.ornellaia.com/it/vendemmia-d-artista/

For Axel Heinz, Ornellaia’s Director and Winemaker, the 2014 vintage exhibits the character of ‘L’Essenza,’ or the Essence. “When one is confronted with a challenging growing season, in order to make a great wine, one has to focus on simply extracting that year’s very essence. And, in fact, the 2014 year unexpectedly turned into a pleasant surprise, since the heavy rains and low temperatures during the ripening stages were followed by a September and October which brought us exemplary weather conditions; the final result was a somewhat later harvest, which delivered optimally vibrant fruit with crisp acidities.

We complemented that result with meticulous hand-picking, whose objective was to select only the most sound, healthy clusters. What one notices immediately about the 2014 vintage is the high quality of the tannins: elegant and silk-smooth, with no rough edges at all. 2014 will be remembered in Tuscany for the summer that never was and as one of the most unusual. A warm and rainy winter was followed by a mild and dry spring, a distinctively average July and a cold and rainy August. All of this created difficult conditions for the ripening of the grapes. September and October, however, brought perfect conditions, with mostly sunny and dry weather, offering excellent conditions for ripening, particularly for Merlot. While we had an incredible amount of extra work to do in the vineyard, the combination of the Estate’s varied subsoils, the varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot and our own detailed knowledge of the terroir all played distinctively in our favour. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia underlines the fundamental difference in terroir between the coast and the central Tuscan vineyards.

ornellaia-2014-lessenza-vda-ernesto-neto-3_6_9_075-liters-emotionalTo artistically interpret Ornellaia 2014 ‘L’Essenza’ Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto turned to his current field of art research, shamanism as science, natural phenomena, and the artisanal arts that are the collective fruit of the community. In 2014, Neto and the members of the Huni Kin tribe in Brazil undertook a series of artistic collaborations that analysed shamanic rituals and traditions. The spiritual life of that tribe, their striving for healing in harmony with nature, and the wisdom and serenity that they draw from their intimate bond with the energy of our earth infused into Neto’s oeuvre an unprecedented awareness of the power of nature and of the dynamic factors that regulate it. Drawing generously from these traditions, and from the shamans and their rituality, the artist’s recent works convey aspects of transformation and add multiple layers of meaning to his research into social- and ecology-based connectivity.

For Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista project, Ernesto Neto sought to convey the concept of natural balance as it is exemplified in our modern societies. He encapsulated 111 large-format bottles with an interwoven mesh, specifically 100 3-litre double magnums, 10 6-litre Imperials, and a single 9-litre Salmanazar, which together represent a social hierarchy with a single King, 10 Nobles, and a populace of 100 subjects, and in so doing illustrates the equilibrium that should reign in every community, with a hierarchy that is necessary so that all can live in harmony within the group and in uniformity with Mother Nature.

In addition, Neto designed a special label for the 750ml bottles of Ornellaia, and one bottle bearing that label will be included in every 6-bottle wood box.

To date, Ornellaia’s art project has gathered more than 1 million euros, all of which it has donated to foundations and museums that support art across its full range of expressions, including the Whitney Museum of New York, the Neue Nationalgalerie of Berlin, the Royal Opera House of London, the H2 Foundation of Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, the AGO of Toronto, the Fondation Beyeler of Basel, and the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles.

On the upcoming 27 April, the spotlight will be focused on Ornellaia at a benefit auction centring on 9 lots, which will include the special bottles created by Ernesto Neto for the Ornellaia 2014 L’Essenza – Vendemmia d’Artista. Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s CEO & President, Americas & Asia, will preside at a gala dinner and auction that will raise funds to be donated in their entirety to the host sponsoring the event, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in New York, directed by Richard Armstrong.

“The Vendemmia d’Artista series is a wonderful way of combining the characteristics of each vintage of Ornellaia with a world class artist’s interpretation of that specific year. For the ninth edition, Sotheby’s Wine are delighted to continue our collaboration with the launch of Ornellaia 2014 L’Essenza Vendemmia d’Artista, through a very special dinner and auction benefiting the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.” Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s CEO & President, Americas & Asia.

 

LE SERRE NUOVE DELL’ORNELLAIA 2014

Vintage 2014 underlines the difference between the traditional vineyards of central Tuscany and Ornellaia’s Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon rich vineyards on the coast.

Coming primarily from the Estate’s younger vineyards and made with the same passion and attention to detail as Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is a true “second vin”. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia combines generosity and depth of flavour with an engaging and vibrant personality.

2014 will be remembered in Tuscany for the summer that never was and as one of the most unusual. A warm and rainy winter was followed by a mild and dry spring, a distinctively average July and a cold and rainy August. All of this created difficult conditions for the ripening of the grapes. September and October, however, brought perfect conditions, with mostly sunny and dry weather, offering excellent conditions for ripening, particularly for Merlot.

While we had an incredible amount of extra work to do in the vineyard, the combination of the Estate’s varied subsoils, the varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot and our own detailed knowledge of the terroir all played distinctively in our favour. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia underlines the fundamental difference in terroir between the coast and the central Tuscan vineyards.

“A late vintage with a long period of ripening, 2014 presented us with wines that generate a great amount of pleasure. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2014 has a ruby colour of medium intensity. On the nose it develops fresh crisp fruit aromas underpinned by fine notes of spice. The palate is of medium weight with notes of red berry fruit. The tannins are fine, silky and particularly polished. Soft and enveloping yet with a clean lively finish”. Axel Heinz – Estate Director and Winemaker ORNELLAIA

The 2014 harvest will go down in history as one of the latest, starting on 6 September with the Merlot from young vines, and ending on 22 October with the last Cabernet Sauvignons.

The clusters were hand-picked into 15-kg boxes and then selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after de-stemming, and finally gently crushed. Each variety and each parcel was vinified separately. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel, at temperatures of between 26° and 30°C for two weeks followed by maceration of around 10-15 days. Malolactic fermentation was started in stainless steel, and completed after transfer to barrels (25% new and 75% a year old). The wine remained in Ornellaia’s temperature-controlled cellar for a further 15 months. It was assembled after the first 12 months and then reintroduced in the barrels for a further 3 months. After bottling, it was aged for an additional six months prior to release.

 

Masseto 2013

Vintage 2013 will be remembered as one of the latest harvests in  history with particularly favorable growing conditions for Merlot. 

 

masseto-bottlesThe Masseto vineyard is a unique place with a mosaic of different soils including an exceptional presence of grey clay. The gentle breezes coming off the sea during the warm summer months, the intensity of the sunlight and the specificity of the unique soils, allow the vines to develop and ripen gradually and contribute to granting Masseto its enchanting combination of freshness and ripeness.

Masseto 2013, which is being released in this period,  is once again testimony to the unique alliance of terroir, climate and human talent determining its timeless value. This vintage will be remembered as one of the latest harvests in the history of Masseto to date”. Alex Belson, Director MASSETO

After a dry 2012, winter 2013 was characterized by mild but very rainy weather, which caused a delay in budding of up to 15 days. A cool, rainy spring also led to an irregular, very long flowering period, with  two-week delay compared to the average, which reduced the crop and resulted in uneven development of the grapes. Fortunately the summer, which arrived punctually at the end of June, was perfect, dry and sunny, with a few peaks of heat in July and August. The slow vegetative development was ultimately beneficial because it deferred ripening until after the hottest period. The August storms significantly lowered temperatures, especially at night, which favoured aromatic expression. This however led to a later than average harvest, which started on 12 September with the “Masseto Alto” vineyard parcel and concluded on 25 September with the last parcel of “Masseto Centrale”, with predominantly sunny weather

without excessive heat.

“Masseto 2013 is the result of an overall late, fresh weather during the harvesting period. These are particularly favorable conditions for Merlot, which was able to ripen slowly and completely in sunny weather, without excessive heat. These conditions enhanced full expression of the aromatic qualities and perfect ripening of the polyphenolic content. Intense ruby in colour, the nose immediately reveals fully ripe fruitiness endowed with great freshness and complexity, underlined by delicate notes of vanilla and cocoa. On the palate, the wine is substantial and rich, with great density, and a rare tannic quality of silkiness and smoothness. Black fruit aromas are accompanied by a strong note of freshness and a long, elegant finish, which is prolonged with a delicate hint of cocoa”. Axel Heinz, Winemaker and Estate Director MASSETO

The clusters, hand-picked in 15 kg boxes, were graded and selected by hand on a double sorting table before and after de-stemming, and then gently pressed. Each of the four vineyard blocks was vinified separately. Fermentation took place in either steel or wooden vats, followed by maceration for 15-20 days at a temperature of between 25 and 30°C. Malolactic fermentation was started in 100% new oak barrels, keeping the different lots separate for the first 12 months of maturation. The final blend was subsequently assembled and reintroduced in the barrels for a further year, for an overall  total of 24 months. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional 12 months prior to release.

 

VINTAGE 2016 HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME ONE OF ORNELLAIA’S GREAT VINTAGE

harvest-in-ornellaia

ORNELLAIA: START TO ONE OF THE EARLIEST HARVESTS IN RECENT YEARS

“For Ornellaia, this will be one of the earliest-concluding growing seasons in recent years: our harvest started immediately following the late-August holidays. The reason is that, contrary to 2015, we had no significant rainfall during the month of August,” explained Axel Heinz, Director and Winemaker of Ornellaia.  “Thus, on Monday, 22 August, Ornellaia brought in the first clusters of Sauvignon blanc and Viognier, which showed excellent component levels, with a potential alcohol of 13% and a good, balanced acidity. We will already finish this week the harvest of our white grapes, while we have just started picking, in these past few days, some Merlot, and we’re planning to continue with the other reds next week.

“Significant heat in July and August speeded up the ripening process,” continued Heinz. “Fortunately, the area of Bolgheri is blessed with wide day-night temperature differentials, which in turn allows the vines to recover during the night from the daytime heat and dryness. In addition, the depth of our soils creates optimal conditions for developing the aromatic qualities of our grapes.    

“As it stands, it is possible 2016 could be among the best vintages at Ornellaia, on a par with 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2012, which were all characterized by hot, dry summers and yet gave us wines of great concentration, structure, and richness. The first rows we pick are never the whole story, so we are still sampling all the various vineyards and evaluating their potential. In point of fact, though, the figures we are seeing do indicate a vintage similar to the great ones of past years.” 

 

Recent Entries »