Robert Parker''s Wine Advocate 31/10/2010
The 2007 Solaia saturates the palate with a heady array of super-ripe black cherries, plums, cassis, mocha and sweet French oak. There is an exotic quality to the Solaia I find totally irresistible. Despite its considerable ripeness and opulence, the 2007 Solaia is never heavy, rather it impresses for its extraordinary finesse and balance. Minerals, graphite and crushed rocks frame a long, seductive finish. This is a wonderful Solaia loaded with vintage and vineyard character. The 2007 Solaia is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc, aged in 100% new oak. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.
I continue to be amazed at the high average quality Antinori achieves across a production that exceeds a whopping 20 million bottles per year. This is a fabulous set of new releases. Long-time Oenologist Renzo Cotarella could certainly have rested on his laurels; after all he is already one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers. Instead, Cotarella continues to improve quality in a meaningful way. The highlights are the 2007s, which are off the charts. I first sampled Antinori’s 2007 Tignanello and Solaia two years ago, when they were still separate wines from individual parcels, but even then it was clear these were going to be special wines. Tasting Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Tignanello and Solaia vineyards, both in Chianti Classico, was an unforgettable lesson in the uniqueness of each of these fabulous terroirs. The Solaia vineyard in particular is clearly one of Italy’s greatest sites. Everything I tasted was loaded with personality and sheer character. One of the recent major changes at Antinori is the separate vinification of component wines for Guado al Tasso, Tignanello and Solaia, which began with the 2004 vintage. In 2007 Cotarella took that approach even further, with small parcel-by-parcel vinifications that allowed for maximum flexibility when the final blend for each wine was ultimately assembled. The 2007 harvest brings with it a number of additional changes. Syrah has been eliminated from Guado al Tasso in favor of Cabernet Franc, a grape that is proving to be exceptionally well-suited to the Tuscan coast. If the 2007 is any indication, Guado al Tasso is taking on a much more Bordeaux-like personality. The estate is also gradually moving toward slightly larger barrels and less new oak for their Sangioveses.
Importer: Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Woodinville, WA, tel. (425) 415-3738
This is a subtle and racy wine. Balanced, with vibrant fruit and bright acidity and chocolate and spices. Full and racy. Very long. Austere. Fascinating. Very closed right now. Give it five or six years minimum now. Winemaker Renzo Cotarella says that Solaia is more reserved in character than the Antinori's Guado al Tasso from Bolgheri, which is more flashy. Makes me smile.
The 2007 Solaia (magnum) captures all the exotic richness of the year in its luscious, racy personality. Raspberry jam, spice and white chocolate give the 2007 its decidedly flamboyant feel. There is not much subtlety here, but the 2007 offers tons of immediacy in a flashy style that is hard to resist. It is one of the most enjoyable wines of the night.
You can allow all or manage them individually.