Back in January, we profiled the flagship wine from the new Orma estate; Tenuta Sette Ponte’s move to Maremma. In Bolgheri’s New Benchmark, we opined that after decades of expansion, exploration and experimentation, there can be no doubt that the next great wine making region of the world is the coastal sliver of Tuscany called the Maremma. Whether near Grosseto or Castagneto Carducci, producer after producer are investing and acquiring vineyards in this special region. Each year a few great wines emerge and with fewer restrictions for the territory, there seems to be no end in sight to the trend.
Despite it’s young lineage, some are already calling Tenuta Orma the “Pearl of Bolgheri”. After releasing two vintages of Orma (2014 & 2015), the estate decided to produce a wine from younger vines. Following in the footsteps of it’s older sibling, the wine reflects the plantings of the estate and is mostly based in Merlot.
The 2015 Tenuta Orma Passi di Orma is the debut vintage of Orma’s younger wine. Literally meaning “Steps from Orma”, the name refers to the fact that the vineyard which provides the fruit for “Passi” is mere meters from Orma’s flagship vineyard and the only difference is essentially the age of the vines.
A blend of 40% Merlot, 35% Cabernet and 25% Cabernet Franc, Passi di Orma is a stylish and forward wine. Vinified in stainless steel, the wine is then aged in French barriques which are 10% new and 90% one year used from the prior vintage of Orma. The wine stays in barrique for 6 months and then is bottle aged for 6 months before release.
In the glass the wine is a medium violet color. Essential aromas of black plum, cocoa and vanilla dot the nose and extensive swirling reveals some Mediterranean “scrub”. On the palate, the wine is accessible, round, ripe and fruity with black plum notes accented with toasted spices, vanilla and fresh herbs. Elegant and refined, Passi di Orma finishes with medium length and velvety integrated tannins. Not as exciting as Orma, though that’s hardly a knock. 87 points and tasty enough, but with the anticipated retail price, not really the best value. About $30-$35. Find this wine.
Some additional commentary: As I said, this is the first wine made from this vineyard. Given that, I think the vineyard shows great promise for improvement. At the recent Gambero Rosso tasting (my impressions on that tasting will be forthcoming) the 2016 version of this wine was being poured and although it was very international in style, it struck me as a much better wine than the 2015. It will be interesting to see what becomes of that when it is released.