The early conditions of 2007 meant that everything started earlier than normal and lead to an early harvest. The later weather patterns evened out and provided the perfect finish to the vintage. The wine is complex, intense, harmonious but still incredibly young. Drinkable now with a lot of air it will improve and evolve over another 5-15 years. Serve with scotch fillet.
Solaia is a vineyard of about 10 hectares in size, with a south-west exposure at an altitude of between 350 and 400 meters above sea level. It is situated on rocky calcareous soil which contains limestone rocks. The first vintage of this wine was 1978. Solaia is produced only in exceptional vintages and was not made in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1992.
If Italy were to install a royal family, surely the Antinori’s would be the top contenders. Having been in the industry since 1385 and owning some of the best wineries situated in major producing regions they are responsible for some of Italy’s best wines each year. The Tuscan estate brought us the now famous Tignanello and Solaia Super Tuscans, but the other wines they produce are equally engaging.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
Widely cultivated across Italy from Emilia-Romagna to Campania and producing as much wine as Barbera. A wide range of clones and hugely diverse growing conditions sees the variety represent easy drinking ‘quaffers’, all the way to benchmarks such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Sangiovese di Romagna and Morellino di Scansano.
When most people think of Central Italy they think of Tuscany. Not surprisingly because Chianti is an ocean of vineyards within the winegrowing region of Central Tuscany. Chianti produces more than 750000 hectolitres of wine each year. Tuscany’s wine history starts somewhere in the 8th-5th Century BCE when it was part of Etruria. Vernaccia from San Gimignano and reds from Montepulciano were known and loved before the Renaissance. The Tuscany we know now started in 19th Century with Chianti gaining the ascendancy. Brunello di Montalcino debuted in 1888 and the Super Tuscans took shape in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Beyond Tuscany there are the magically places of Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo and Umbria. Each place has its own history and personality that really deserve a night of their own. Better still, a few nights in situ.