The 2017 Solaia has shut down since I last tasted it about a year ago, but not as dramatically as Tignanello. The difference might be that Sangiovese drives the blend in Tignanello, while Cabernet Sauvignon is at the core of Solaia. Even so, today, I see more energy than in the past. As a recent vertical in London once again proved, Solaia is a wine that needs bottle age to be at its best, even if it’s often quite flashy in its youth. There is plenty of the distinct Cabernet Sauvignon character and richness that is so unique to Solaia, but also a good bit of energy as well.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2047
Robert Parker 95
The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Solaia offers a uniquely floral personality with wild rose and lilac that comes as a surprise, especially if you are expecting the more robust and opulent dark fruit associated with this vintage. To use a word that is popular now, the aromas are absolutely lifted. This is a bouquet-driven wine, showing great oak choices that are synergistic with the light and considerably thinner palate. Dried or pressed flowers cede to cherry, blueberry, some red meat char and a light touch of cinnamon. My impression is that the dry extract from the oak ultimately plays a bigger role in the overall flavor profile, preserving its red fruit core nevertheless. The wine is very accessible in terms of mouthfeel, showing a comparatively thinner and shorter approach. With more time in the glass, it offers some of the white soil dust that is a standard Solaia signature. It will be released the first week of September.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2040