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Antinori Solaia (3 Liter Bottle) 2015

Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2015 Solaia is an intense ruby red in color with purple highlights. The nose offers powerful notes of plum jam and berry fruit. Perfectly integrated sensations of chocolate and licorice give way on the finish to hints of fresh mint. Harmonious on the palatewith excellent structure and silky tannins, the wine concludes with an extremely long finish and lingering aftertaste.

Blend: 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 7% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There is a magical infinity, a continuous loop of compatibilities, between the icon wines of Tuscany and the 2015 vintage. The stunning 2015 Solaia is solid evidence of this perfect alignment. This was a warm vintage that shows less favorably in my opinion in different parts of Italy and with other grapes that render their most elegant performances in the cooler vintages. I would put pure expressions of Nebbiolo and Sangiovese in this category. However, Tuscany and many of her great blended reds (made partially or fully with international grapes) operate according to a different logic. To me, their maximum expression comes when you can taste that Tuscan sunshine beaming from within. Its rays are brilliant and warm. They shine across the senses with opulence and intensity. The very name Solaia evokes the concept of sunshine and this unique Tuscan wine archetype I am referring to. With the 2015 vintage, Solaia is liquid sunshine not just in name but also in fact. The bouquet is immediately soft and sensual with dark fruit, spice and sweet tobacco. The mouthfeel shows intensity and power, but you don't get any heavy residue from the dry extract (measured at 33 grams per liter). Indeed, the wine feels glossy, tonic and fresh. It is composed of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese and a tiny part Cabernet Franc. There is a bit of crunch or snap that comes thanks to the more acidity-prone Sangiovese grape (the wine measures 3.5 in pH). Finally, the tannins are beautifully sweet and ripe. This wine is meticulously executed, and the 2015 vintage lives up to an ideal of what we imagine Solaia to be. It will be released about a week after this review is published.
JS 100
James Suckling
The nose to this Solaia is truly phenomenal with currants, blackberries, roses and violets. So perfumed. Full-bodied and everything is in check and harmony with polished tannins that last for minutes. Purity and focus. Is it the greatest Solaia ever? So drinkable already, but this is a wine for ages ahead.
WS 98
Wine Spectator
Floral, mint and medicinal herb aromas introduce this rich, black currant–infused red. Firm and compact, with vibrant structure, youthful harmony and a lingering, fruit-, herb- and spice-tinged finish. Shows terrific balance and length, with the best yet to come. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2038.
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
Full-bodied and elegant, this gorgeous red offers aromas of ripe dark-skinned berry, fragrant blue flower, spice, menthol and a whiff of new leather. It’s structured and loaded with finesse, delivering cassis, ripe Marasca cherry, licorice and tobacco set against a firm backbone of smooth, velvety tannins. Surprisingly fresh acidity for the hot vintage keeps it balanced. It still needs a few more years to fully develop.
Cellar Selection
W&S 98
Wine & Spirits
The 2015 Solaia is simply dazzling. While many regions of Tuscany suffered through heat and drought in the late summer, Solaia’s vines, situated between 1,150 and 1,325 feet in altitude, enjoyed cooler evening temperatures and some rain in August that stimulated the ripening process. The wine shows impressive freshness for the vintage, with high notes of menthol and licorice that balance the lush flavors of black currant and cassis. Other notes emerge—black olive, moist tobacco, dark chocolate, graphite—that build layers of complexity and concentration, even as the freshness persists. Silky tannins create a seamless impression on the palate, and the finish is cool, energizing and very long.
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Antinori

Antinori

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Antinori, 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.

SWS920649_2015 Item# 515630