The best vintages of Solaia are 1990, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and now 2013. Marchesi Antinori's 2013 Solaia is a profound and meaningful wine that is based mostly on Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc in supporting roles. It sports a dark and thick texture with plump fruit and spice, grilled herb and black pepper. The bouquet is intense and layered with the kind of complexity that is best admired as the wine shifts and evolves in the glass. The textual impact is also impressive-you feel the inherent power and the structure, but these elements are never overdone. The best is yet to come; this Solaia is built for long cellar aging.
97+ POINTS The Wine Advocate
Wow. This is a stylish young red with currant, light herb, spice and bark aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Balanced and attractive now but better in 2020. A classic as always.
97 POINTS James Suckling
Offers weight and presence, with black currant, plum and black cherry aromas and flavors. The structure is vibrant and harmonious. Herb, earth and spice accents complete the profile, accompanied by a lingering, savory finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2033.
95 POINTS Wine Spectator
A wine of reserve, polish and class, the 2013 Solaia is striking from start to finish. Subtle and exquisitely layered, the 2013 graces the palate with a host of crème de cassis, blackberry jam, menthol, lavender and violet overtones. This is another tightly wound, reticent 2013 from Antinori that is going to need time to fully unwind. Finesse replaces the exuberant power that is so often found.
POINTS Vinous / Antonio Galloni
Antinori's 2013 Solaia feels poised and balanced. It's focused on cabernet sauvignon (75 percent of the blend), with flavors of plum and blackberry edged in earthy tones of damp leaves, black tea and tobacco. The wine rested for 18 months in new French oak barriques, gaining notes of vanilla and sweet spice and developing finely polished tannins. The flavors gain energy and expression as the wine sits in the glass, indicating that this has good ageing potential.
93 POINTS Wine & Spirits
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
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.
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.
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.
The Wine Advocate
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.
Wine & Spirits
Another intense, tightly-wound wine, the 2012 Solaia is likely to require a number of years in bottle before it is ready to drink. Graphite, smoke, plums, black cherries, rose petal and mint meld together effortlessly in the glass. Here, too, the style is all about grace and finesse. The 2012 Solaia is going require patience, but all the elements are in the right place. In 2012, the Cabernet Franc is nearly 7% of the blend, which is on the high side.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
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.
In color, the 2011 Solaia is intensely ruby red and expresses rich, warm aromas. On the palate, the ripe red fruit and spices,in addition to deep floral notes, define the wine's complex structure. The palate is succulent, rich, enveloping and sweetthanks to the presence of dense, supple, rounded tannins. The vibrant acidity contributes to the excellent expressivenessof the flavors and contributes to the highly pleasurable, long and persistent finish.
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 5%Cabernet Franc
A big, rich wine but there's lots of brightness and beauty at the same time. Shows licorice and asphalt. Full body with chewy tannins and a long finish. Terracotta, Tuscan dust and spice; balsamic too. This needs three to five years to soften. Intense finish.
Blackberry jam, cassis, grilled herbs and melted road tar meld together in the 2011 Solaia. Another super-exotic, racy 2011 from Antinori, Solaia is supremely beautiful. Mocha, espresso and sage are some of the many notes that add complexity. Hints of white truffle, lavender, smoke and licorice are laced into the exotic, racy finish. In 2011, Solaia has a dollop more of Cabernet Franc in the blend, added to give the wine a touch of freshness. Ripe and flashy to the core, the 2011 needs time to lose some of its youthful exuberance. At times, the 2011 could be easily mistaken for a wine from Napa Valley, such is its intensity.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
This rich, bright red displays plum, blackberry, boysenberry, leather and spice notes, allied to a dense structure. Remains balanced and juicy through the finish and is built for the long haul. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2033.
I'm not fully convinced by the 2011 Solaia. It is a hedonistic and heady expression for sure, but it doesn't come near the 97 points I awarded the 2010 vintage. In fact, the bouquet here is very ripe with thick tones of strawberry and blackberry folded within tobacco, leather and sweet spice. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc offer flavors of rum cake and candied fruit. There's a good amount of tannic firmness surrounded by thick extract and fleshiness.
The Wine Advocate
A triumph for Solaia: it suggests the greatness of the legendary 1997. This is a wine with very subtle, complex aromas and flavours of currants, licorice and raspberries. Wonderful nose. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a long, long finish. It lasts for minutes on the palate. The precision of the cabrenet sauvignon comes through here.
98 POINTS James Suckling
The 2010 Solaia is even better than the Tignanello. Here, too, it is the wine's energy and sheer vibrancy that stand out most. Blackberry jam, graphite, tar, espresso, violets, crushed rocks and spices all take shape in the glass. The 2010 is a wine I have followed since its infancy, and it has never failed to deliver the goods. Earlier this year I had a chance to taste every vintage of Solaia back to the inaugural 1978. It is still early, but there is little question the 2010 is one of the greatest - if not the single greatest - Solaia ever made. 97+ POINTS Vinous / Antonio Galloni
The 2010 Solaia puts on an incredible show that hits all the senses and keeps your unyielding attention for as long as there is wine in the bottle. There are various ways to describe the bouquet. First, is the wine's sweet side, as this beautiful 75-20-5 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc delivers ripe cherry, black currant, baking spice and dark chocolate. After that, the wine becomes redolent of tobacco, balsam, bay leaf, rum cake and dark licorice. The bouquet is all encompassing and complete. A firmly structured backbone is padded generously by the fleshy richness of its consistency. This is a gorgeous wine that will age for decades. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040. 97 POINTS The Wine Advocate
Already one of Italy's most iconic bottlings, this gorgeous 2010 is already a classic. Its complex and intense bouquet unfolds with ripe blackberries, violets, leather, thyme and balsamic herbs. The palate shows structure, poise and complexity, delivering rich black currants, black cherry, licorice, mint and menthol notes alongside assertive but polished tannins and vibrant energy. This wine will age and develop for decades. Drink 2018-2040. Cellar Selection 97 POINTS Wine Enthusiast
A powerful, dense red, with a good lashing of oak, this evokes black currant, blackberry and spice flavors. Finds equilibrium with air, gaining suppleness and finishing long and complex. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2016 through 2028. 93 POINTS Wine Spectator
Winemaker's Notes: 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.
Like its sunshine-inspired name suggests, Solaia is an opulent and generous achievement that represents the highest pedigree in Italian wine. The intensity is mind-blowing and the wine peels back slowly to reveal thick layers of blackberry, chocolate fudge, spice and general fruit decadence. The mouthfeel is super smooth yet powerful, delivered in the most elegant fashion.
97 POINTS Wine Enthusiast
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.
96 POINTS James Suckling
The 2009 Antinori Solaia is similar to the 2007 in its volume and richness, but it is less extroverted. This is another gorgeous Solaia that will drink well pretty much during its entire life. The warm year yielded a racy Solaia with no hard edges and fabulous overall balance.
POINTS Vinous / Antonio Galloni
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.
95 POINTS Wine Spectator
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.
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 Selection97 POINTS Wine Enthusiast
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.
96 POINTS James Suckling
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.
93 POINTS The Wine Advocate
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.
92 POINTS Wine Spectator
Winemaker's Notes : Intense ruby red in color, this wine displays classic Cabernet Sauvignon character with intense fruit-driven aromas 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.
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.
97 POINTS The Wine Advocate
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.
97 POINTS James Suckling
Soft contours, silky tannins and textural volume are the hallmarks of the 2007 Solaia. A riper, denser version of the 2004 with the richness of the 1997, the 2007 will please readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure. The style is intense and bold. Readers who prefer more subtlety will find that in other vintages, as the 2007 is a voluptuous, racy, turn-on with tons of immediacy but less in the way of detail or nuance.
97 POINTS Vinous / Antonio Galloni
A racy wine that offers so much currant and blackberry character. Full and very silky. Goes on and on. Fascinating. Best after 2012. 6,500 cases made.
94 POINTS Wine Spectator