Antinori Solaia 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany, Italy
The 2009 Solaia is ruby red in color and offers the classic Cabernet Sauvignon character that defines this iconic wine. On the palate, the wine is smooth with velvety tannins and displays notes of coffee, chocolate, mint and licorice. The wine impresses for its finesse and structure, and is characterized by great elegance and aging potential.
James Suckling - "A Solaia with lots of currants, berries and milk chocolate yet reserved and focused. Full body, with refined tannins and an alluring finish. Needs at least two or three years to come together. Can't decide if I like this better than the superb 2008. Better in 2015."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Solaia is one of the clear standouts of the vintage. Freshly cut flowers, raspberries, spices, mint and licorice burst from the glass as this fabulous, viscerally thrilling wine shows off its pure class. Today the oak is a bit prominent, but that won't be an issue by the time the wine is ready to drink. In one of my blind tastings, the 2009 Solaia was flat-out great. There is no shortage of pedigree here. The 2009 has calmed down a little from its youth, when it was a much more exuberant wine, and has now begun to close down in bottle. Solaia is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc from a single parcel within the Antinori family's Tignanello vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.
Wine Spectator - "A pretty red, boasting floral, cherry, black currant, chocolate and spice aromas and flavors. The firm structure is assertive now, both acidity and tannins, but the sweet fruit and spice flavors persist and grace the long finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2015 through 2030."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Pungent, brooding aromas of cassis, blackberry jelly, licorice, clove, bay leaf and violet; very aromatic and very cabernet sauvignon. Dense, highly concentrated and seamless, with good verve thanks to harmonious acidity that lifts the dark fruit and aromatic cedar flavors. Finishes with superripe, fine, toothcoating tannins, a hint of alcoholic warmth and great persistence. A very aromatic, tactile and smooth Solaia, in a slightly warmer style owing to the hot vintage but with a refinement lacking in the Tignanello of the same year; you can tell the grapes come from a select portion of vines within the Tignanello vineyard. This ought to develop splendidly in bottle and has great potential.
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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.