This is a big wine with an elegant feel and impeccable balance. An expressive burst of bright cherry, black currant, iron and spice on the nose lead into graphite minerality, leather, and a lemon thyme note behind cherry and blueberry flavors. A little time in the glass releases that characteristic Solaia white soil dust. Decant today or cellar for two decades.
There just aren't many on the level of Piero Antinori. Process this for a moment: He represents the 25th generation in an unbroken string of vintners, beginning in 1385. 26 generations! His family started accumulating knowledge about vineyard and cellar practices when Chaucer was working on The Canterbury Tales. It's difficult to comprehend. His lifetime experience cannot be overstated as he has literally been involved with wine his entire life. In fact, one of his first memories is of German soldiers shooting barrels in his family's cellars as Europe descended into chaos at the end of WWII. He has a truly encyclopedic knowledge of what it means to be a winemaker, and he understands that he is a vital link from his family's past to its future as the Antinori footprint expands across the globe.
Extremely aromatic with sage, lavender, blackberries and currants. Full-bodied with chewy and very polished tannins that melt into the wine. Foursquare and slightly austere. Fresh and well framed. A wine that needs five to six years to soften and come together completely. Try after 2025.DC97
Super-restrained cassis fruit with an almost blueberry maturity in front of violet, clove and blond tobacco spiciness. Retasting the wine the next day, it shines with graphite minerality, pure leather, and a touch of lemon thyme. Creamy and full on the palate, it has refined and meaty tannins, with lively acidity and great balance overall. You would not think this wine was aged in 100% new French oak for 18 months because of the great fruit concentration on display, but the top quality of the oak used is evident. The potential of Solaia is to be seen over the years, to discover its character as it matures. It's never cutesy, always elegant. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040WE96
Made with 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 8% Cabernet Franc, this has aromas of black currant, menthol, Mediterranean herbs and spice. The palate offers dried black cherry, star anise, tobacco and toasted almond framed in tightly wound, close-grained tannins that produce a firm finish. This is already generous, but give the tannins a few years to unwind. Drink 2023–2029.WA95
The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Solaia offers a uniquely floral personality with wild rose and lilac that comes as a surprise, especially if you are expecting the more robust and opulent dark fruit associated with this vintage. To use a word that is popular now, the aromas are absolutely lifted. This is a bouquet-driven wine, showing great oak choices that are synergistic with the light and considerably thinner palate. Dried or pressed flowers cede to cherry, blueberry, some red meat char and a light touch of cinnamon. My impression is that the dry extract from the oak ultimately plays a bigger role in the overall flavor profile, preserving its red fruit core nevertheless. The wine is very accessible in terms of mouthfeel, showing a comparatively thinner and shorter approach. With more time in the glass, it offers some of the white soil dust that is a standard Solaia signature.WS95
Expressive, featuring a bright burst of cherry, black currant, iron and oak spice aromas and flavors. Fresh and fluid, with well-mannered tannins and impeccable balance. A big wine, with an elegant feel. Pulls all the elements together nicely for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2042.VN95
The 2017 Solaia has shut down since I last tasted it about a year ago, but not as dramatically as Tignanello. The difference might be that Sangiovese drives the blend in Tignanello, while Cabernet Sauvignon is at the core of Solaia. Even so, today, I see more energy than in the past. As a recent vertical in London once again proved, Solaia is a wine that needs bottle age to be at its best, even if it's often quite flashy in its youth. There is plenty of the distinct Cabernet Sauvignon character and richness that is so unique to Solaia, but also a good bit of energy as well. Drinking window: 2027 - 2047.