2010 Solaria Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1207715 95 points James Suckling

 This is structured and firm with ultra-fine tannins and a juicy and delicious finish. A full-bodied, muscular wine that nevertheless shows complexity and finesse. Drink in 2017.  (1/2015)

90 points Vinous

 Solaria's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a fruity, supple wine with plenty of near and medium-term appeal. Dried cherries, smoke, tobacco and cedar add nuance as this nicely balanced, harmonious Brunello shows its mid-weight, attractive personality. The 2010 is a wine that impresses for its balance and sense of harmony. (AG)  (2/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Solaria's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a dark and penetrating wine with a brooding personality. The bouquet is layered with dark fruit, plum, prune, spice, licorice and cola. Despite the large impact of the bouquet, the wine is much less forceful in the mouth. In fact, its consistency is light and delicate with silky tannins and streamlined appeal. The boldness it presents on the nose is followed by softness in the mouth. (ML)  (2/2015)

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Price: $44.99
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Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/22/2016 | Send Email
In a vintage like 2010 it seems that it is almost hard to go wrong with a bottle of Brunello, yet some just seem to stand out from the crowd of winners. The Solaria is one of those that on flavor, ageability, balance, and price just stands out in so distinguished a crowd. Although this wine is still coming together and will benefit from a few more years in bottle, it is already showing lots of cool dark fruit, lush berries, lots of structure and fine tannins that cause this wine to linger on the palate. Perfect for aging and breaking out on those special occasions.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/30/2015 | Send Email
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OK, time to drown, or at least temporarily sedate my sorrows: our beloved Giants are out of the race for yet another odd year… hey, maybe that’s why they’re called "odd" years! Anyway, I won't curse Kershaw, he showed great stuff out there, and besides, I think we have a store in LA.....congrats. Fortunately relief is only a shelf away with the glorious 2010 Solaria Brunello, its stylish label signifying the generous warmth of the sun upon the hills of Montalcino. A true wine evocative of the sun and soil, it is both finely structured and supple, a complex array of juicy, silky black fruit, wet earth, cigar leaf, licorice and spice, fleshy and firm on the tannins. Hold for a few more years to bring out the serious beauty of this wine, and open it, say in 2020, to celebrate a sixth Giants championship! See you at the ballpark!

Staff Image By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/22/2015 | Send Email
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One of the largest problems with this 2010 vintage from Montalcino that I visualize is that these Brunellos are so well balanced, so opulent and so delicious now, that it will be a major chore to not open them and enjoy them near-term. Major mistake if you do that! This is a great vintage in Montalcino, and these wines should be treated as such. They should be put down and allowed to get much, much better with bottle aging, and they will, trust me and trust Greg St.Clair, our Italian wine buyer, who is telling all his following the same. Yes, they will get even better! One of my favorites is the 2010 Solaria, which will be a classic wine from this vintage. Medium-deep ruby in color, the authoritative nose of dark fruits, currants, plum, anise, and mocha with a filings mineral undertone leap from the glass in its aromatics, and carry over on the palate in a huge fashion, along with a lush, creamy, viscous, integrated, fleshy presentation. The finish is long and warm and continuous. This Gem is a great wine and will age nicely for the next ten to twenty-plus years in our wine cellar. Rusty has absolutely demanded that I bring home several cases of this Gem, or else. Great Gem, Great Value! ***** 14.5% *****
Drink from 2020 to 2040

Staff Image By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2015 | Send Email
Patrizia Cencioni’s Solaria is really a one-woman operation (she does hire help for harvest), and her philosophy is that great wines start in the vineyard and not in the lab. Patrizia really doesn’t put a thumbprint on her wines, she lets the hills of Montalcino and the Sangiovese speak for themselves. I have known and sold this producer’s wines for many years and am excited to do so again. Classic dark and ripe fruit, full-bodied with lots of structure, I would give this a couple hours of decanting.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/29/2015 | Send Email
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Dense, dark fruit that’s more plum than cherry along with bold strokes of vanilla burst from your glass. They are followed on the palate by a wine that shows less structure than the nose might portray but has lots of juicy, bold fruit accompanied by fine-grained tannin. The finish is full, fleshy and shows a bit of square tannin. This wine needs a few years to come together to show all the potential it has.
Drink from 2018 to 2025

Additional Information:



- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.


Specific Appellation:

Brunello di Montalcino

- Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from a specific clone called "Brunello" in the town of Montalcino. Situated in the southwestern part of Tuscany the town of Montalcino sits on a ridge about 400 feet above the Eastern plain. This ridge divides the region into three diverse growing areas. The northeastern part produces wines with brighter fruit, more cherry and high tone notes and somewhat leaner body. The southeastern portion often referred to, as the "Golden Triangle" is the home of Biondi Santi, the family who invented Brunello and championed its production for half a century before anyone else. This region produces wines with rich body, deep ripe cherry to plum fruit with lots of earth and spice. The third portion is the southwesterly facing slope which is the warmest (hence the ripest grapes), consistently producing wines with more breadth and richness. At the turn of this century, there were more than 150 growers who produce the 233,000 cases annually from the 2863 acres inscribed to Brunello.