Antinori Solaia 2015
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.
The 2015 Solaia hasn't moved much since I tasted it last year. In the glass, the 2015 is surprisingly fresh and vibrant for the vintage. Blackberry jam, blood orange, chocolate, licorice, cloves, lavender and menthol are all woven together, but the 2015 needs time to show the full breadth of its beauty, as there is a ton going on here.
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.
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. Drink 2022-2035.