Solaia is a 50 acre (20 hectare) vineyard with a southwestern exposure located at an altitude between 1150 and 1325 feet (350-400 meters) above sea level and with a stony soil of “alberese” (hard limestone) and “galestro” (flaky calcareous clay) rock. The vineyard is located at the Tignanello estate. The Antinori family produced this wine for the first time in the year 1978, and the initial blend was 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Cabernet Franc, a formula repeated in 1979 as well. In the following years, 20% of Sangiovese was introduced and certain adjustments were also made in the rapport between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc until the current blend was settled upon. Solaia is produced only in exceptional vintage, and was not produced in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1992.
The wine shows an elevated color intensity, a sign which, from the very beginning, indicates its importance. The nose is ample and complex, full of fruity and varietal aromas and sensations which begin with black cherries and ripe red fruit and finish with liquorice, coffee, and toasted oak. On the palate the tannins are supple and balanced. The wine is savory and mineral, but soft as well; its aftertaste recalls sweet notes of cacao, vanilla, and black and red berry fruit which linger and last.
"Wonderful pure Cabernet character, with currants, spices, flowers and violets. Velvety and fresh. Long and intense. Less austere than the 2007 with very sweet and ripe tannins. Such beauty. This is really powerful. Give it three to four years before trying a bottle." - 96 points, James Suckling
"Definitely on a top 10 list of Italian icons, Solaia affirms the massive potential of Italian winemaking, from vineyard to cantina to cellar and beyond. Superrich and polished, but never over the top, this gorgeous super Tuscan shows deep layers of chocolate, black cherry, rum cake and spice. The secret lies in its balance: Everything is in place, from intensity and complexity to persistency." - 97 points, Wine Enthusiast