Antinori   Solaia

1998 Solaia

By Antinori

1998 Solaia from Antinori, Italy

The year of 1998 bestowed a gift on lovers of fine wines from Italy. That gift was none other than the 1998 Solaia from Antinori, a wine that marries the unique terroir expressions of Tuscany with the superior craftsmanship Antinori is renowned for. Graced by ideal climatic conditions, the '98 vintage has its honor shared amongst formidable contenders, but Solaia stands apart, much like an intricate symphony among simple melodies.


Grace and power, a marriage built to last

It is no secret that investment in fine wine is often rewarded by enduring quality. The 1998 Solaia embodies this truth marvellously. Each sip teems with a harmonious counterpoint of grace and strength, reflecting the dynamic interplay of Sangiovese and Cabernet grapes gifted by this formidable vintage.

Teasing with whiffs of dark fruits and sweet-spiced licorice, it opens up to lavish you with a palette befitting an Italian maestro—cherries interlaced with earthy tobacco and well-integrated tannins that guide your journey to its long and concentrated finish.


A vintage unfolding like a Tuscan summer

The warm Tuscan summer of 1998 was indeed remarkable, bestowing magic into the grape clusters that would hailed as one of the most impressive vintages of Antinori's Solaia. The weather favoured slow ripening, allowing optimal development of flavours while retaining vital acidity—a balance that can be likened to perfect poise on a high wire.

Rest within this dynamic climate, coupled with Antinori's tradition and innovation in viticulture practices, the 1998 Solaia bears the distinct hallmarks of a vintage worthy of time and investment.

This enduring vintage from the house of Antinori champions the profound beauty of unpredictability, reminding us that much, like the tuscan sun, even the most well-rehearsed dances must bow to the will of nature. Passion and patience in the world of fine wine investment is nietzsche's chaos within which stars dance—a notion elegantly personified by none other than the 1998 Solaia from Antinori.

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Solaia has been one of Italy's most brilliant wines since the early eighties. Made in a Bordeaux-like style, it will age for two decades or more. The 1998, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc (8,000 cases), was aged for 14 months in new and one-year old French oak casks prior to being bottled without filtration. Yields were a low 30 hectoliters per hectare. The 1998 is a classically-structured, dense, full-bodied, youthful, well-balanced wine designed for cellaring. Its opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by a classic bouquet of black currants, vanillin, earth, tobacco, and a touch of mint. Full-bodied, moderately tannic, dense, and concentrated, this backward 1998 needs 3-4 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020. Importer: Remy Amerique, New York, NY; tel. (212) 399-0200

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 29 October 2001

Vintage performance