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September 12, 2016

Solaia 2013

Solaia (1)

Solaia 2013 has just released on the Place de Bordeaux, the last of the leading Super Tuscans to release this year. Solaia is the flagship wine of Piero Antinori and the crown in his glorious winemaking career. The 2013 vintage of Solaia has been awarded 97 points from James Suckling who describes it as ‘a classic as always’. Larner and Galloni have yet to publish their tasting notes but we can expect more impressive scores in a very highly rated vintage. The release price of £735, per case of six bottles in bond, is a 15.7% increase on the 2012, which is simply the change in FX over 12 months.

The 2013 is a truly great Solaia but the weak pound has made it more expensive then previous vintages. As such, we are delighted to also offer a parcel of Solaia 2011, the cheapest vintage on the market and another superb wine. In the same year that Suckling scored Masseto 100 points, Solaia 2011 rivals the 04, 05 & 06, which average £900 per case. This is an average Price over Points Score (POP) of 118 compared to 79 for that of the 2011. As such, this looks like a very attractive buy, both for investment and drinking.

Solaia JS AG Price  POP
2013 97 N/A £735 86
2012 97 94 £635 82
2011 96 96 £630 79
2010 98 98 £690 77
2009 96 96+ £690 86
2008 96 92 £740 106
2007 97 97 £860 101
2006 N/A 95+ £960 124
2005 N/A 93+ £810 120
2004 N/A 97 £930 109

 
Solaia’s distribution mimics that of Masseto, released last week, the most prestigious wine of his brother, Ludovico Antinori. Solaia, Ornellaia and Sassicaia make up the holy trinity of Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Super Tuscan wines. Solaia produces far fewer bottles per year than Ornellaia and Sassicaia, who produce 12,000 cases and 15,000 cases respectively; Solaia make less than 7,500 in the average vintage. This year production is down 20% making the 2013 more attractive for collectors to buy on release.

This high score in 2013 comes as no surprise, early murmurings have placed its potential in Bolgheri alongside 2010 and 2007. While most of Europe struggled in 2013, Tuscany excelled, a cool spring lowered yields, while a cool summer ripened the grapes slowly and Autumn followed suit allowing the grape growers to pick ripe and balanced fruit. Solaia is famed for intense sweet ripe cherry and blackcurrant fruits, combined with dark chocolate, baking spices, rum cake, balsam, and tobacco.

The Marchesi Antinori family are world famous for two wines; one is Tignanello, the other Solaia, which since 1978 has become Antinori’s and one of Italy’s most prestigious wines. Solaia is normally the mirror reflection of Tignanello, made up of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Solaia translates loosely as ‘The sunny one’, aptly named to reflect the glorious sunshine that showers the eponymously named ten hectare vineyard; situated 350-400 metres above sea level, on wonderful terroir of calcareous rock (alberese). The site is adjacent to Tignanello in the Mercatale Val di Pesa zone (Greve) of Chianti Classico, further inland than Sassiaia and Ornellaia (coastal Bolgheri). In 2013, Solaia spent 18 months in entirely new French oak, with various lots fermented separately to maximise harmony.

Along with the 6x75cl cases we are pleased to offer limited quantities of the rare and desirable larger formats for the 2013 on request, including magnums, double magnums and imperials.

 

97 points, James Suckling
Wow. This is a stylish young red with currant, light herb, spice and bark aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Balanced and attractive now but better in 2020. A classic as always.  

 

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