Ornellaia unveils ‘artistic interpretation’ of 2018

By February 16, 2021Critical Opinion, Italy

Italian estate Ornellaia has revealed the latest vintage ‘interpretation’ in its ‘Vendemmia d’Artista’ series for the soon-to-be-released 2018. 

The Super Tuscan estate commissioned Belgian artist Jan Fabre to create a limited edition label for the vintage, which will adorn one bottle in each case sold, as well as bespoke artwork for a series of large format bottles that will be sold for charitable causes later this year. 

Fabre used red coral for three sculptures to adorn three Salmanazar bottles called; ‘A Candle of Mercy’, ‘The Crown of Kindness’ and ‘The Heart of Virtue’. 

‘The Crown of Kindness’ will be auctioned by Sotheby’s this September alongside 111 other large format bottles from the 2018 vintage, with proceeds going to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s ‘Mind’s Eye’ project. 

The 2018 vintage has been dubbed ‘La Grazia’ by the estate; with estate director Axel Heinz saying the growing season resulted in wines of ‘particular harmony’. 

Antonio Galloni scored the Ornellaia 2018 97 points and said it had, ‘terrific persistence and impeccable balance’ and was, ‘more about finesse than raw power’. 

He also noted it was the first vintage where Merlot was the dominant grape in the blend. 

In his preview of the 2018 vintage in Tuscany, Galloni noted it was a ‘highly intriguing’ year and he said the wines are, ‘gorgeous for their mid-weight purity and nuance’. 

Stylistically, he added, the 2018s reminded him of the 2004s albeit with ‘less richness’. 

The 2018 vintage of Ornellaia will be released this spring. The 2017, which Galloni also scored 97, was released last year at £1,800 per dozen. 

2018 Sassicaia was released earlier this month.