Four-Way Roundup: Wines of Bolgheri

During my visit to Ornellaia, I also had the chance to sample three other wines from the neighborhood, comparing them in the relatively controlled environment of a local wine and salumi joint. Some thoughts follow:

2007 Ornellaia – I’ve covered this one extensively here, but noted more rich chocolate character in this tasting of a bottle which had been open for at least a few hours, unlike the fresh bottle in my private tasting. A

2007 Sassicaia – Considered the gold standard of Bolgheri, it’s got incredible smoothness and intense herbs. Like the Ornellaia, it’s amazing, considering its youth, but it’s a simpler wine than Ornellaia — a wine which holds no mysteries in reserve, while Ornellaia demands to be explored. Very smooth and velvety and quite drinkable with antipasto. A

2006 Camarcanda - Part of the Gaja empire. The least interesting wine in the bunch, a young and incredibly tannic wine that clearly needs time to settle down. B

2005 Argentiera – Similar to the Camarcanda but with better balance. Worth exploring, with a fun herbal character. B+

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