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Antinori Solaia 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany, Italy
  • WE97
  • JS96
  • RP93
  • WS92
14% ABV
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4.0 1 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
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.
Cellar Selection
JS 96
James Suckling
Wonderful pure Cabernet character, with currants, spices, flowers and violets. Velvety and fresh. Long and intense. Less austere than the 2007 with very sweet and ripe tannins. Such beauty. This is really powerful. Give it three to four years before trying a bottle.
RP 93
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 92
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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Antinori

Antinori

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Antinori, Tuscany, Italy
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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.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

BAL113273_2008 Item# 113273