The irony is its grapes grow in an area that for centuries was considered incapable of producing fine fruit. Yet today this wine ranks among the greatest Italy has ever produced. It is Ornellaia, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, classic Bordeaux grapes grown in the westernmost part of Tuscany.
Tuscany’s vinous reputation dates back centuries, much of it resting on Chianti and other red wines made from Sangiovese. But that grape never counted for much in this coastal region. It is the Bordeaux-style reds, with a far more brief history, that brought it fame.
It began in the village of Bolgheri in 1968 with a wine called Sassicaia. It quickly received worldwide accolades, and other Italian winemakers took notice. Ornellaia, recognizing the climate and varied soils around Bolgheri were just right for Bordeaux grapes, followed in 1981.
Italian-made wines from French grapes, however, did not fit any legal Italian wine category. And so they were called Super Tuscans. Since then, however, Super Tuscan has described every conceivable Tuscan wine, not just Italian-Bordeaux wines. Happily, they no longer need it; with their success, original Super Tuscans have been granted their own legal definition, D.O.C. Bolgheri.
My notes from a tasting on a recent visit bear witness to the exceptional quality of these wines. Ornellaia 2005: mature, ripe, aromatic, deep-flavored and fascinating. Ornellaia 2006: full, concentrated, elegant and ravishing. Ornellaia 2010: equally elegant, complex, well-integrated with finesse and silky tannins. Ornellaia 2011: powerful and bright with a long aftertaste — delicious. Ornellaia 2012: young, deep-flavored and intense, with substantial body and finish.
Befitting its high quality and relatively low production, Ornellaia costs $225–250 a bottle.
Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, a more affordable wine, made from grapes of younger vines, is blended with more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon ($65–75). Far less expensive, Ornellaia Estate Le Volte offers a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese (about $25).
All exceptional wines, with Ornellaia the king. No wonder, with a world of fine red wines at his disposal, George Clooney chose Ornellaia to serve at his wedding.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.