Wines, like humans, have body types. In the case of people, you’re an ectomorph (too thin), endomorph (too tubby) or mesomorph (too hot). The informing substance is fat.
Wines fell into three analogous categories until the invention of the box wine, when a fourth division was added. The informing substance here is viscosity. Thus, with wines, we have light body, medium body, full body and dead body.
Stated as a progressive analogy in terms of liquids: skim milk, whole milk, cream and Quaker State Motor Oil.
Le Serre Nuove Dell’ Ornellaia 2015 Bolgheri is a light-bodied blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot. Such a mashup! Were this a fantasy football team instead of a bunch (literally) of grapes, it would own the Super Bowl. Intriguingly, alone or in combination, these grapes invariably yield full-bodied wines. Except in this case.
Le Serre Nuove (“The New Greenhouses”) hails from Bolgheri, a coastal region in Tuscany near Livorno. The grapes for this particular bad boy were harvested from younger vineyards, which explains the lightness of body. But that doesn’t explain the heft of the alcohol: 14 percent. That’s like a lot. Viscosity a-go-go. Ordinarily and scientifically, viscosity is a function of alcohol. Except in this case. Go figure.
Just as arresting is the flavor or mouth feel or simple awareness in the glass of earth. As in dirt. One critic claimed he detected “plenty of blackberry and rust with tile and stone undertones.”(!)
In short, an exceptional red — intense, elegant and invitingly rusty. You would be correct to assume that rust, earth, tile and stones do not make for a delicious, exceptional wine. Except in this case.