1998 Antinori Tuscany Solaia
The 1998 Antinori Tuscany Solaia 750 ml is from the Tuscany region of Italy. Winemaking in the Antinori family began, in significant terms, in 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Florentine Guild of Vintners. Over the subsequent 26 generations this family-owned business has elevated their craft to one of the most respected, premium Italian wines. Today, Marchese Piero Antinori directs the long-lived family vision, and his three daughters participate in various activities with the firm. It was really during the 1960's and 70's, when they brought on famed wine consultant, Giacomo Tachis, and began experimenting with different vinification techniques (controlled temperatures, aging in bottle, and barrels comprising a range of types and styles), that the Antinori wine began to make worldwide acclaim. Rather than trying to copy Bordeaux–style claret, Antinori sought to convey the versatility and finesse of the noble Sangiovese grape. Adding malolactic fermentation for red wines, aging in barrels, omitting white grape varieties from the blend, and using non-indigenous varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Antinori was able to launch two of the most successful and compelling Super-Tuscan labels on the market - Tignanello and Solaia. Solaia followed soon after Tignanello's launch, in 1978, when Antinori found he had a large surplus of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon juice after blending in what he needed to the Tignanello. Antinori found there was even higher worldwide demand for the 75%+ Cabernet Sauvignon Solaia blend. In fact, Solaia was named Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year in 2000. And even though Chianti Classico DOCG have changed their rules to accommodate Super-Tuscans like Solaia, Antinori continues to bottle it under the Toscana IGT wine category.