Ornellaia, the renowned Tuscan wine estate, have released the 2017 vintage of Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia. The label which accompanies this new vintage is a celebratory one, marking the passage of twenty years since the decision to create a second wine with a blend of the four principal varieties of Ornellaia—Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot—which maintains the elegance and charm of the grand vin, while also being more approachable in youth 2017 will go down in history as being one of the hottest, driest years ever. Things were clear from the outset due to a particularly mild winter, with temperatures over three degrees higher than the seasonal average and rains within the norm. Consequently, the vines budded much sooner than usual, almost two weeks in advance. The vegetative cycle was accompanied by hot weather with very little rain from the month of March, and this was interrupted by a sudden drop in temperatures at the end of April, which caused frost in various parts of Tuscany. Thanks to the mitigating effects of the sea, temperatures remained above zero along the coast, preventing damage to the young buds. The hot, dry weather returned in May, limiting vegetative development and the size of the bunches, while flowering occurred under excellent conditions. There was virtually no rain in July and August but fortunately the hot weather was offset by cooler temperatures at night. The harvest began early, with the first Merlot on the 24th of August, continuing through until the last week of September in hot weather and under sunny skies. Rain finally put in an appearance around the middle of month, cooling things down and creating the perfect conditions for the later-ripening varieties.
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