Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Solaia, TOSCANA, Italy IGT

$718

A great vintage of the iconic Solaia, full of cloves, sage, graphite, grilled dried herbs, underbrush and roasted cherry pit. There's fruit too, bilberry and cassis, juicy and mouthwatering, both understated and exuberant, ensuring a Tuscan fingerprint despite its majority Cabernet Sauvignon construction. Has grip and length, and effortless charm, reflecting an excellent vintage with low yields after a hot dry summer. Antinori family showing once again why this wine, that comes from 20ha the sunniest slopes of the Tignanello estate, set at 350-400m altitude, is so hard to resist. 98 Jane Anson.

The 2020 Solaia is an infant. I expected a more exuberant wine, but the 2020 is built along more classic lines. Black cherry, plum, gravel, incense, smoke, pencil shavings and spice all open effortlessly. As always, Solaia is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, but it is a Cabernet that is distinctly Italian, with plenty of Tuscan acid and structure driving through the mid-palate and into the finish. The 2020 is a terrific example of the recent stylistic shift at Antinori. In the past, richness and opulence were qualities of a vintage that would have been amplified in the vineyard and cellar. Today, the aim is to capture a more balanced expression of these kinds of vintages, and that very much comes through. 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

Baked black fruit, ripe, fragrant and intense on the nose. Bright and sour fruit on the palate, quite a sharp initial tang from the high acidity before rich, sunny, ripe strawberries and raspberries come into play with liquorice, toast and cedar aspects giving the spiced element to the expression and graphite offering minerality. This is a powerful wine no doubt, bordering on hedonistic at times - a result of the hot and dry summer, it's sensual, rich and flashy but the sense of control and layers of juicy freshness help balance the opulence with refinement. Clearly confident and charismatic, fans of this style will delight with Solaia in 2020. Made by Renzo Cotarella, Stefano Caraneto and Pietro Dogliani. 97 Georgina Hindle, Decanter.

Inky dark in appearance, the 2020 Solaia is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller percentages of Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. This vintage unfolds to exuberant richness and thick layers of blackberry and plum. The tannins are sweet and expertly crafted, adding both depth and fruit weight. The 2020 vintage is quite bold, and it plays its best cards in terms of texture and mouthfeel. It's a bigger, more accessible wine compared to the last two vintages on the market. Spice, toasted coffee bean and more dark fruit colour this full-bodied Tuscan red. 96 Monica Larner, Wine Advocate.

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