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Antinori Solaia 2012

Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • WE97
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  • RP95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
13.5% ABV
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4.9 5 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2012 Solaia is intensely ruby red in color with purple highlights. On the nose, it expresses elegant varietal character and freshness. This vintage has classic style. It is characterized on the palate by a pleasurable harmony of flavors created through a fine balance of acidity, tannins and a high level fruit. The flavors linger on the palate with grand personality and great persistence, which make the finish exceptionally complex and vibrant.

Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
This stunning expression of Solaia opens with ample aromas of exotic spices, tilled soil, mature black-skinned fruit and an underlying whiff of fragrant blue flowers. The vibrant, elegantly structured palate doles out high-toned black cherry, ripe blackberry, white pepper, cinnamon, clove and Mediterranean herbs alongside a backbone of firm, polished tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2017–2032. Cellar Selection.
JS 97
James Suckling
Extremely impressive ripe dark fruits of blueberries, plums and blackberries follow through to a full body, round texture and bright acidity. The finesse and depth to this red is stunning making it a wonderful successor to the 2011 Solaia.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Solaia is the ultimate comfort wine: It serves as a beautiful monument to the potential of Italian wine. Let me give you some context. My lukewarm review of the 2011 vintage caused some heads to turn. Happily, the previous vintage has served as a springboard for this current release. Both 2011 and 2012 come from hot climatic conditions, but these wines are very different in style and content. The 2011 heat softened the lines that make up the varietal identity of this celebrated Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. Those lines are presented in sharp focus with the 2012 edition. The nose is redolent of dark berry, crushed mineral, plum, spice and touch of white pepper. The wine is integrated and seamless, but it speaks with a strong and articulate voice.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
To achieve the purity of fruit exhibited in this wine required careful fruit selection in the warm 2012 vintage. Lush flavors of black plum and cherry swirl around tannins so suave that they feel like they’ve been individually buffed. The wine unfolds in layers of tobacco, graphite and chocolate, brightened by accents of mint and spice. The flavors gain energy as they race across the palate, maintaining a harmonious balance on the persistent finish. This will get even better with time in the cellar, but its lush, vibrant flavors are hard to resist today.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Ripe plum and black cherry notes are augmented by toast, spice and tobacco details in this muscular red. Turns more compact on the finish, where dense, dusty tannins reign. Just needs time to integrate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2026.
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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.

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One of the most iconic Italian regions 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, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. 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 and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

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Tuscan Blends

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Big, bold and modern in style, Tuscan Blends can be composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and indigenous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, are some of the most popular. They all marry with the indigenous Sangiovese very well, or can be blended together without Sangiovese—or even made on their own as single varietal bottlings!

Where did the idea come from? In the 1970s a few Tuscan winemakers had become disenchanted with Italian winemaking laws and decided to retaliate and get creative. They started making wine solely from these international grapes or adding them to Sangiovese, in differing proportions, with amazing success—and the phenomenon was born.

The most famous and revered Tuscan Blends from Italy are called “Super Tuscans.” One of the most well-known, ‘Tignanello,’ created by Antinori in 1971, is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Ornellaia, established by Marchesi Lodovico Antinori in 1981, with the help of renowned agronomist Andre Tchelistcheff, remains a stellar example today; since 2002 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi has been the sole owner. It is typically a blend of about half Cabernet Sauvignon, a third Merlot and the rest filled in with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Sassicaia, another, has earned itself an extraordinary reputation and global esteem, so much so that the Sassicaia property was actually awarded its very own appellation with the 1994 vintage. It is typically 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.

SWS398248_2012 Item# 150272