2016 solaia, toscana
Why We're Buying
It’s almost impossible to over-hype Antinori “Solaia” Toscana. Fruit, espresso, licorice, and spice combine to form a deeply beautiful and transcendent red wine. Solaia is the rare wine worthy of the word “perfect,” evidence being multiple 100-point ratings.
Aromas of cassis, warm spice and camphor form the nose. Made with 73 Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 Sangiovese and 7 Cabernet Franc, the vibrant, linear palate shows great finesse, offering cranberry, blueberry and crushed mint alongside white pepper. It’s smooth and balanced, with bright acidity and polished tannins. The best is yet to come, so hold for more complexity. Drink 2023–2036.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I fussed over scoring this wine more than I'd like to admit—tasting through three samples under different conditions at various intervals and testing my impressions blind against wines in its peer group. Most importantly, I tasted this 2016 vintage against the 2015 vintage over and over again. I confess to a few nights of restless sleep as a result. Ultimately, my decision to award 100 points to the 2016 Solaia came on impulse and with the most natural sense of purpose. I had also given the 2015 vintage a perfect score, and intellectually, it seemed impossible not to pick a favorite among these two stunning expressions. I will also state, outright, that the wines are very different, principally because the 2015 vintage shows more overall opulence and sweetness that extends to the pronounced textural richness of the mouthfeel. The 2016 vintage, on the other hand, is more chiseled and sharp with mineral shadings of campfire ash and graphite at the rim of its dark fruit. The mouthfeel is more streamlined and tight at its core, suggesting that the wine will unfold and soften beautifully with time. I feel like 2015 is the Dolce & Gabbana of the situation and the 2016 is the Armani Privé. The personalities of the two wines are distinct, yet my admiration for each is identical.
This red leads off with a slight oaky edge, featuring vanilla and resin accents that meld with the black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors on the palate. This is all about purity and finesse, featuring a vibrant structure that fits harmoniously with the flavors. Cedar, iron, tobacco and fruit elements converge on the finish, which is very long, fresh and satisfying. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2040.