As many of you know I'm a huge fan of Italian wines, and when it comes to Brunello, Soldera is the king. He was the pioneer in the region started in 1972, by the 1980s his intensely concentrated, highly aromatic Brunellos were already turning heads; yet, production of just a few hundred bottles kept the lid on his reputation until the stakes were raised with his 1990’s.
His methods for restricting his yields are state-of-the art: short pruning in the winter; a green pruning in the summer; and grape thinning and limited leaf stripping in the fall to maximize ultimate ripening.
But in the cellar, he sounds more like Giovanni Conterno or Bruno Giacosa. While the modern-era Montalcino has seen a rush to French barrique and less time in wood, Soldera continues to age his Brunello for five years in large Slavonian oak tanks and vats, much as Biondi Santi might have done in their glory years. In fact, when you ask him who the other great Italian winemakers are, they are virtually all names from the past, including the fathers of Conterno and Gaja.
Soldera’s wines combine great concentration, richness and aromatic complexity with classic structure.
Due to the small production of all of these wines, combined with their devoted following, Soldera Brunello’s are among the most sought-after, and difficult-to-find, wines of Italy.