1990 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia "Ornellaia" Toscana

SKU #992771 96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good fresh deep red. Knockout nose combines black fruits, tar, mocha and humus. A hugely concentrated, sweet wine with great richness of fruit and extract. The first vintage of Ornellaia to reach 14% alcohol, and it shows in the wine's compelling thickness. Far from the subtlest wine in the range, but ripe acidity and big, sweet tannins give it plenty of verve and grip. Today, I find this wine fresher and a bit more detailed than the estate's 2000. A monumental wine today, but this could still use another four or five years in bottle to reach its peak.  (10/2004)

96 points Wine Spectator

 A decadent red, with loads of tobacco, cherry and meat aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and long rich aftertaste. I have found bottle variation with this wine, but this is superb quality.  (10/2000)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1990 Ornellaia (magnum) foreshadows an opulent style that would become the norm in future years. A rich, dense Ornellaia, the 1990 offers exceptional balance in its expressive bouquet, ripe fruit and beautifully balanced acidity. Earthiness, licorice, smoke and menthol linger on the elegant finish. In 1990 temperatures were unusually warm toward the end of the growing season, which comes through in the wine's generous, open personality.  (10/2010)

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Price: $269.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Tuscany

Specific Appellation:

Super Tuscan