2012 Antinori Solaia
Wine Details for 2012 Antinori Solaia
|Type of Wine||
: Many grape varietals are planted all over the world so they're not typical for one single country anymore. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc form part of many blends coming from different countries. Super Tuscan wines are produced in this Italian region, but grape varietals used in the making are not indigenous - those are mostly Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
: Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.
: Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.
Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.
The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.
The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.
With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.
: Italian culture worships the concept of a shared meal, and their wines scream for a chance to be uncorked with your friends and family. The region's Mediterranean climate and hilly landscape combine to create a beautiful viticultural environment, where every chosen grape is brought to its full potential and transmuted into drinks worthy of gods. The vineyards are planted along the higher reaches of the hill slopes, creating a gorgeous view of the Italian landscape.
Once your lips kiss the wine, you're sent spiraling down a veritable whirlpool of pure flavor, touching upon notes of sensuous cherry, nuts, floral hints and undertones of honey and minerals. The wines can be as sweet as a fresh summer romance, and carry an air of dignity and elegance about them that can stimulate your intellect for months as you contemplate the seemingly infinite intricacies and details in the texture. Tuscany is an important part of Italian viticulture, and sampling their wines is the closest you can get to visiting this heavenly region and experiencing the culture.
James Suckling | 97 JS
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.
Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE
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.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP
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.
| 94 VM
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 Magazine | 94 W&S
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. 500 cases imported.
Wine Spectator | 93 WS