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Ornellaia’s Masterpieces, Rare Vintage Valentini Gem, and Must-Have $16 Verdicchio!
January 17, 2017
A Note from Sergio

Owned by the Frescobaldi family, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia makes one of the most well known Super-Tuscans, the kind of wine that has fanatics counting the days until a new vintage comes on the market. The estate's flagship Ornellaia is internationally beloved because it has all the characteristics of worldwide wines like density, richness and soft tannins, and it's internationally recognized because it acts like a blue chip stock in the cellar--few wines appreciate like Ornellaia, as recent wine investment deals have illustrated. Capitalizing on its flagship bottling and its cult Merlot, Masseto, Ornellaia added to the stellar line up with two secondary bottlings, Le Serre Nuove and Le Volte, wines that hew so closely to the originals that were they to come from any other winery, they'd be stars in their own right.

These are the facts that distinguish Tenuta dell'Ornellaia as a winemaker, but this estate is more than just a winemaker: it's a patron to the arts. Ornellaia does more than pay an artist to draw a label; this wine producer fills its cellar space with art, commissioning artists around the globe to paint, draw, and sculpt the pieces that hang on its walls, adorn its hallways, and color its atmosphere. Today, I'm proud to present a trio of wines from Ornellaia's Vendemmia d'Artista collection, a collaboration between the winemaker and one very special artist. Every vintage since 2006, Ornellaia has worked with one artist to embody the spirit of the year, creating a commemorative label for the vintage. Below you'll find three very special Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista bottlings, all double magnums and each a gem.

Speaking of gems, it's hard to find a wine more rare and more brilliant than one from Edoardo Valentini, Abruzzo's "Lord of the Vines." Although he passed away in 2006, Valentini created a legacy in winemaking that lives on, and the 1994 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo offered below is an astounding achievement. This wine will blow you away. Finally, not everyone is a collector, and even collectors need easy-drinking go-to wines. Sartarelli make some of the best, and I'm delighted to have scored a new allocation of the estate's 2015 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico. It's good that this wine is only $16, because you'll want to drink it early and often!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Ornellaia's Vendemmia d'Artista Collection
2. Only At IWM:
Impossible-to-Find Vintage Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Is $16 Sartarelli Verdicchio Your New Go-To White?
4. Wine Events: Upcoming January Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito
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Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1994 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1994 750ml
Price: $699.00

A singular bottling from the hands of the “Lord of the Vines,” Edoardo Valentini himself, this brooding, umami-laden, knockout 1994 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a classic bottling of this cult wine. Now with more than twenty years of perfect maturity, this wine is coming into its own, offering its full profile of black licorice, smoke, ash, leather, and game. Remarkably vibrant and fresh even at more than two decades old, this vintage Valentini d’Abruzzo offers a patina of smokiness, notes of tar and black olives, and remarkable mellowness and integration to its components. In any vintage, Valentini's Montepulciano is a provocative, sublime rendition crafted from late-harvest grapes, made only in exceptional vintage years, and crafted only from the choicest grapes. Ripe, rich, and concentrated, Valentini's Montepulciano always needs a few years to coalesce; this '94 is a rare, gorgeous wonder, and it's our pleasure to put it in cellars like yours! more info
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista 2009 3L
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista 2009 3L
Price: $5,499.00

The '09 Ornellaia is a showy Super Tuscan, in all the best possible ways. A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, the Ornellaia '09 embraces both massive power and elegance, offers complex aromatics, and exceptional balance between its ripe, defined fruit, its warming alcohol, refreshing acidity, and its velvety tannins. As delicious as are its notes of frutti di bosco, chocolate, Tuscan terroir and savory herbs, it's this wine's the caressing mouth-feel that stays with you, and now with at least five years of maturity, this ’09 Ornellaia is integrated, stunning, and left with years ahead of it. more info
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista 2010 3L
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista 2010 3L
Price: $5,499.00

Nuanced and sophisticated, the aromatics and the palate of the ’10 Ornellaia marry seamlessly; its bouquet of ripe dark fruit, earth and wildflowers echo on the palate that clings to your mouth and takes forever to dissipate. 2010 saw the 25th anniversay of Ornallaia, and this special bottling reflects the significance of the year. It’s a beautifully balanced evocation of Ornellaia, one that shows freshness and ripeness in equal measure. While it seems early to drink a wine this monumental, and while time in the cellar will only serve to integrate this wine’s tannins, the ’10 Ornellaia is approachable. This is a wine worthy of its 25 years of history. more info