2018 Antinori Solaia Toscana...$359.98
The Marchesi Antinori 2018 Solaia reveals a silky and elegant personality, and the wine steps away from some of the more robust fruit weight and dark concentration that we've seen in the past. This elegant vintage prizes fruit purity and focus with black plum, cassis, blue flower, pencil shaving and lots of sweet spice from the oak that recalls clove and toasted almond. The blend is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller parts Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. The fruit is harvested at the Antinori family's Tenuta Tignanello at the heart of the Chianti Classico appellation. The percentage of Cabernet Franc used in the blend is the ultimate Solaia wild card. In this vintage, the Franc has been increased to 7%, and that number is expected to be even higher in 2019 as the vines get older and the fruit more complex. Production of Solaia is 65,000 bottles in this vintage. This is a beautiful wine, but if pressed I must admit a preference for the 2018 Tignanello (the other celebrated wine crafted at this property). The 2018 Solaia is delicious on all fronts as expected, but the 2018 Tignanello struck at my heart strings. Either way, these are stunning results. Very aromatic and lively on the nose with currants, fresh herbs, white pepper and cherry blossoms. Full-bodied with a vertical, multilayered structure and ultra fine tannins. Velvety texture. Extremely long and focused. Complex and succulent. This is the smallest production of Solaia ever. Great length. This is a beautifully complex red that’s open now, but needs another three to four years to show even more of its excellence. The 2018 Solaia continues to develop beautifully. Resonant and ample on the palate, with tons of vibrancy, the 2018 offers terrific vibrancy as well as character. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, blackberry jam, licorice and spice build as the Solaia gains momentum over time. The 2018 is dense and beautifully layered, yet retains the mid-weight structure of this super elegant vintage.