Antinori Solaia 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany, Italy
The 1997 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2000
Intense ruby red in color, this wine displays classic Cabernet Sauvignon character with intense fruit-driven romas of ripe cherries and blackberries without excessive hints of oak. Generous and smooth on the palate with soft, gentle and balanced tannins. Distinctive varietal notes meld together harmoniously with a long and wonderfully persistent finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "Definitely on a top 10 list of Italian icons, Solaia affirms the massive potential of Italian winemaking, from vineyard to cantina to cellar and beyond. Superrich and polished, but never over the top, this gorgeous super Tuscan shows deep layers of chocolate, black cherry, rum cake and spice. The secret lies in its balance: Everything is in place, from intensity and complexity to persistency.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Solaia is richer and darker than the Tignanello, but it isn’t an appreciably more complex or complete wine. It shows gorgeous depth and textural richness to match an expressive core of blackberry jam, smoke, scorched earth, crushed rocks and cassis. This is a beautiful wine, but not as great as I had hoped. The 2008 Solaia is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc, aged in 100% new oak. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. "
Wine Spectator - "Lush, ripe and polished to a gleam, this red exhibits black cherry, plum and sweet spice flavors on a powerful frame. Balanced, with a chewy, spice- and violet-filled finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2020."
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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.