1997 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia "Ornellaia"
Fruit and complexity as well as freshness and richness. Beautiful nose with extraordinary aromas of prunes, licorice, and dried flowers with rosemary undertones. Full-bodied and velvety textured. So beautiful to drink now, but obviously has a long future ahead.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Ornellaia is a big, fat wine endowed with tons of fruit. Mocha, coffee beans and ripe, dark fruit emerge from the glass on a rich, opulent frame. The structural elements are easy to overlook, as the tannins are so juicy and ripe, and the fruit is incredibly intense. Simply put, everything is in the right place. Not surprisingly, 1997 is the year Ornellaia introduced their second wine, Le Serre Nuove, and the extra selection that was carried out to produce this wine has paid off big time. The 1997 is also the first Ornellaia in which Merlot is a full 30% of the blend, while Cabernet Sauvignon is 65% and Cabernet Franc is 5%. It is also the first year in which the percentage of new oak is 50%. In many ways, the 1997 is a wine that signals a move towards the more extroverted style that is common here these days. The 1997 Ornellaia, like many wines from Tuscany that year, is marked by a unique growing season that saw an April frost lower yields dramatically, followed by a hot, dry summer which concentrated the remaining fruit to a levels not seen previously. It remains a magnificent example of this Tuscan classic. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2017.
Dark ruby red. Shows intense blackberry, currant, fresh herb and mineral character on the nose. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, caressing finish. Still young and powerful.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Best after 2009. (Web Only-2007)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, youthful red-ruby. Very ripe, complex aromas of black fruits, violet, exotic spices, licorice and humus. Then hugely full and sweet in the mouth, but with a faint greenness. Finishes with big, slightly rustic tannins-less fine-grained than usual for this estate. A classic wine from a hot year in which the ripening came in a rush.