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Grapes are carefully selected, ensuring the delivery of perfect bunches to the winery. Harvesting is done strictly by hand and great attention is paid to the vinification. A course of delestage and pumpovers are aimed at preserving the varietal aromas and intense colour. Following completion of ferments at 27C to 31C, parcels are racked and transferred to barriques for malolactic by year's end. Components are matured in new French oak for eighteen months. Individual barrels are closely monitered, the evolution of each is followed to ensure elegance and integration, the best are assembled into the final wine and bottled for a further year of ageing before release. Alcohol 14.5%
Intense ruby colour. Fruity, intense arama, sweet with notes of ripe Cabernet achieving a strong individual identity. In the mouth the tannins are soft, gentle and harmonious. Very complex with a solid, full bodied structure, the varietal notes are dominant and work together to indulge the palate with a long and wonderfully persistent finish.
When the initial production of Solaia began, the grape source was a parcel within the larger Tignanello vineyard. The same special characteristics as the original vineyard – altitude, soil, and exposure to the sun (which accounts for the name of the parcel and the wine: “Solaia” derives from sole, the Italian word for the sun) are also to be found in a nearby vineyard plot which, since 1997, has been integrated into the original vineyard. The Solaia vineyard, currently, consists of 20 hectares (49 acres) and is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (15 hectares), Cabernet Franc (1 hectar) and Sangiovese (4 hectares); the vines have an average of fifteen years. Vine density ranges from 5,500 to 7,200 per hectare and a low, spurred-cordon training system is used. Over the years there has been a progressive renewal of the Solaia vineyard. This has been accomplished by utilizing the many years of experience and the more extensive knowledge of the estate’s land to further bring out the personality of Solaia as a wine.
The Marchesi Antinori firm produced this wine for the first time in the 1978 vintage with an initial blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc, a blend repeated again in 1979. In the following vintages 20% of Sangiovese was added to the Cabernet grapes and the ratio of Cabernet Franc to Cabernet Sauvignon was changed in order to create a wine which has now become definitive in its various composing elements. Solaia is only produced in exceptional vintages: it was not produced in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1992. In 2002 the Sangiovese did not achieve satisfactory quality for Solaia: only Cabernet grapes were used. This vintage is known as “annata diversa” (different vintage).
The 2007 vintage was a rather unusual one in its combination of a long growing season and, at the same time, an early harvest. An anomaly which can be explained by an exceptionally mild winter and an unusually precocious development in all of the phases of the ripening cycle of the vine. Summer heat was checked by a cooler August with occasional afternoon rainstorms, and the harvest saw grapes of perfect ripeness and healthiness. A crop of impeccable quality, well reflected in the wines, which combine power and elegance to an unusual degree. Intense black fruit aromas are given an additional complexity by the notes of white pepper and spice; firm, sweet tannins characterize the textured, ample palate, warm but with a refreshing minerality on the finish and aftertaste. Class and austerity define this outstanding vintage and a wine with decades of life ahead of it.