Antinori Solaia 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany, Italy
Intense ruby red in color with aromas of ripe cherry and blackberry fruit, vanilla, chocolate and spice. Generous, smooth and balanced on the palate with sweet, mouth-filling tannins and weight enhanced by complexity and finesse. The wine is incredibly evocative of its terroir, with a distinctive, seemingly endless finish.
Wine Spectator - "Displays loads of mint, eucalyptus, currant and meat on the nose. Full-bodied, with masses of fruit, yet reserved and structured. Mouthpuckering now from all the tannins, but this will give incredible pleasure in years to come. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best after 2014. 6,250 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese (with a small touch of Cabernet Franc), Solaia's winning card is texture. The wine is soft, velvety and penetrating in the mouth with succulent flavors of blackberry, creamy cassis berry, chocolate and tobacco. Thick extraction and quality fruit craft a memorable wine that will last many long and happy years in your cellar."
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep purple-tinged ruby. Deeper, fresher aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant and minerals than the riper '07 shows. Still primary and brooding on the palate, with a refined, lively texture and a floral character that carries through to the aftertaste. The red and black fruit flavors are complicated by hints of forest floor and by more apparent minerality than the '07. Quite silky in texture thanks to noble tannins. Finishes long and pure thanks to firm but well-integrated acidity. This is less soft and more austere than the excellent '07, but each will have its admirers. This 2006 will also prove longer-lived."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The estate's 2006 Solaia is a big, powerful offering loaded with ripe blackberry jam, herbs, minerals and French oak. Like all of the 2006s from Antinori, the Solaia remains extraordinarily dense and primary. Readers will have to be patient with this wine and give it plenty of bottle age before the full range of its aromas and nuances blossom fully. Solaia is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. "
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The Antinori family of Florence, one of the world's oldest and most distinguished wine producers, has lived in Tuscany since the 14th century and celebrated its 625th anniversary as wine makers in 2010. The current company president, Marchese Piero Antinori, believes in the tradition that the primary role of wine is to accompany food and enhance the dining experience. In Florence, the Antinori family has led a "Renaissance" in Italian wine making by combining long traditions, a love of authenticity and a dynamic innovative spirit. View all Antinori Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.