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.
Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.
Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.
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Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
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Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.