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Solaia - by Piero Antinori label
Solaia - by Piero Antinori bottle

Solaia - by Piero Antinori 2012

Red Wine

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Item# 83116-12/6PK


Picking began in late September under generally warm and sunny conditions; occasional rain was followed by strong north winds which dried the grapes, and the alternation of cool nights and warm days was of further assistance to the quality of the crop. The harvest began with Cabernet Franc in late September, continued with Sangiovese in early October, and concluded with the Cabernet Sauvignon in mid-month. The healthy bunches, the richness of color and aroma, and excellent varietal character were all signs of high level grapes, thanks of a very long growing season.
On their arrival in the cellars, the grapes were first destemmed and then, before pressing, selected on the sorting table; here attention to detail was at maximum levels and berries which were not completely ripe, an exception in this vintage, were discarded and only perfect ones wound up in the fermentation tanks. The must was slowly transformed into wine in the conical fermenting tanks, and the fermentation and maceration was carried out with the maximum attention to the freshness of the aromas, the extraction of color, and a handling of the tannins programmed for softness and elegance. All of this required great sensitivity, a full knowledge of the grapes which were being worked, and a constant and careful attention to the fermenting wine, which was only run off its skins after attentive daily tastings. Once the skins were separated from the juice the wine was moved towards the malolactic fermentation, which took place in small oak barrels to give greater finesse and future drinking pleasure. The aging process then began and lasted eighteen months in French oak; during this period the various lots, fermented and aged separately according to the grape variety and the other variables (vineyard plot, ripeness, character), completed their aging and were assembled a few months before bottling


Solaia is a 50 acre (20 hectare), southwest-exposed vineyard of the Tignanello estate situated between 1150 and 1320 feet (350-400 meters) above sea level on stony soils consisting of calcareous clays and limestone rock. The Marchesi Antinori produced this wine for the first time in the 1978 vintage with a blend consisting of 80% Cbernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc, repeating the initial production in 1979. In the following vintages 20% of Sangiovese became part of the blend and certain corrections in the ratio of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were made as well until the current composition of the blend was defined and became definitive. Solaia is produced only in high level vintages and was not produced in 1980, 1981, 1983,1984, and 1992.


A year characterized initially by a mild and pleasant autumn with normal temperatures and little rainfall. Winter was cold and with adequate rains for the period. Spring began with rather cool and dry weather, to the point that the normal phases of the growing season, first the bud burst and, more importantly, flowering took place slightly later than, on average, recent vintages. Ample precipitation, instead, fell in April and May, fundamental in assisting the vineyard in sustaining the lengthy dry spell which, beginning in June and lasting all the way through the month of August, conditioned the growth and development of the vines, both in terms of the canopy and of the size and weight of the bunches and berries. The long-awaited rains of late August were essential in balancing plant growth, allowing all the different varieties to continue the ripening of their grapes. The months of September and October, both mild in their temperatures and rather rainy, allowed the crop to fully ripen both in terms of sugar and aroma and in tannins and structure as well. The harvest was concentrated in the period between September 25th and October 10th and required careful and precise selection both of the bunches during picking and of the berries during the selection process on the sorting tables in the cellar.