98 points Decanter - 2016 is one of the best vintages ever in Bolgheri, classic in style and balanced. It has a 'great sense of the classics without denying the past, a fully-fledged, more modern wine,' according to Axel Heinz. Crimson and dense in color, it's full of restrained, brambly fresh fruit, clove, nutmeg and a salty butteriness, combined with velvety, masked tannins on the palate. It is at perfect phenolic ripeness, supported by refreshing natural acidity balancing the 14.5% alcohol. This will last for decades.
98 points Jeb Dunnuck - From a great vintage for Bolgheri, the 2016 Ornellaia is a classic blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot that was aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. Its saturated purple color is followed by a deep, beautifully concentrated yet primordial effort that offers serious intensity in its cassis, black cherry, graphite, bay leaf, forest floor, and spring flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and multi-dimensional on the palate, it has thrilling purity of fruit, ample tannins, and a great, great finish. This is a tour de force in red wine that needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades.
98 points James Suckling - An astoundingly vibrant, powerful and concentrated Ornellaia that has a wealth of intense dark cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of espresso, dark cocoa powder and cedar. The concentrated palate is framed in long, regal tannins that bring focus to the plush, ripe and fresh black cherries and dark plums. Extremely balanced. Best from 2025.
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping.
96 points Vinous - Outer quote mark Just bottled, the 2016 Ornellaia is a dense, powerful wine. Naturally, the 2016 is just at the beginning of its life, but I am struck by how polished the tannins are for such a young wine. Ornellaia is at its best starting around age ten, but there is little doubt the 2016 is a hugely promising wine. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, new leather and a range of spice notes all build into a veritable crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures.
96 points Wine Spectator - Outer quote mark Black currant, plum, cedar, lead pencil and toasty, spicy elements highlight this intense red. Muscular tannins line the extended finish, leaving a peppery impression. The parts are all there but need time to integrate.
95 points Wine Enthusiast - Outer quote mark Cedar, French oak and cassis aromas follow over to the vibrant palate along with coconut and dried black cherry. Racy acidity lends energy and youthful tension while firm fine-grained tannins offer elegant support. It’s still young and primary so give it time to fully develop.