Solaia 2012 has just released on the Place de Bordeaux. Solaia is the flagship wine of Piero Antinori and the crown in his glorious winemaking career. The 2012 vintage of Solaia has been awarded 97 points from James Suckling and 94 points from Antonio Galloni. The release price of £635, per case of six bottle in bond, is 7% lower than last year, thanks to a favourable FX rate:
Solaia’s distribution mimics that of Masseto, released last week, the most prestigious wine of his brother, Ludovico Antinori. Solaia, Ornellaia and Sassicaia make up the holy trinity of Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Super Tuscan wines. Solaia produces far fewer bottles per year than Ornellaia and Sassicaia, who produce 12,000 cases and 15,000 cases respectively; Solaia make less than 7,500. Solaia is famed for intense sweet ripe cherry and blackcurrant fruits, combined with dark chocolate, baking spices, rum cake, balsam, and tobacco.
The 2012 vintage was hot and dry from June through August causing the vines to slow growth. This followed on from a cool February and a wet May. Taken together this means yields are down 10-30%, with the harvest concentrated between September 25th and October 10th. Antonio Galloni has already reported that ‘So far, I am enthusiastic about 2012. It was a hot, dry year, but with some rain at the end. The 2012s showed more freshness and vibrancy than the 2011s at the addresses I visited.’
The Marchesi Antinori family are world famous for two wines; one is Tignanello, the other Solaia, which since 1978 has become Antinori’s and one of Italy’s most prestigious wines. Solaia is normally the mirror reflection of Tignanello, made up of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc.
Solaia translates loosely as ‘The sunny one’, aptly named to reflect the glorious sunshine that showers the eponymously named ten hectare vineyard; situated 350-400 metres above sea level, on wonderful terroir of calcareous rock (alberese). The site is adjacent to Tignanello in the Mercatale Val di Pesa zone (Greve) of Chianti Classico, further inland than Sassiaia and Ornellaia (coastal Bolgheri). In 2012 Solaia spent 18 months in entirely new French oak, with various lots fermented separately to maximise harmony.
Along with the 6x75cl cases we are pleased to offer limited quantities of the rare and desirable larger formats, including magnums, double magnums and Imperials.
6×75 – £635 IB £776.76 incl VAT and duty
1x150cl (Magnum) OWC- £225 IB
1x300cl (Double Magnum) OWC- £485 IB
1x600cl OWC (Imperial) – £975 IB
James Suckling 97 Points
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. Needs three or four years to soften and open. Better in 2018
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 94 Points
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. Drinking Windows, 2020-2032
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