Soldera: A man who takes more than a little joy in confounding expectations...

Posted by Ian McFadden

Montalcino without Compromise
2005 Soldera Brunello di Montalcino
Case Basse Riserva
Special First-Parcel Pricing!

"A visit to [Soldera] is an absolute must for anyone who seeks to understand the essence of one of the world's greatest wines. I don't say that lightly." -Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate

Gianfranco Soldera crafts enlightened, precise, transparent, ultra-pure, agile Tuscan Sangiovese. His Brunello di Montalcino is always, always, a standard-bearer.

This is one of the greatest expressions of Sangiovese on planet earth and for anyone serious about red wine, from Burgundy to Bordeaux to say nothing of Spain, Tuscany or the Piedmont - this is a bottle that should be experienced at least once.

Keep in mind this is NOT the lesser "Pegasos" bottling that can be found in the U.S. at up to $260 a bottle - this is the real-deal Case Basse bottling.

Though the official reviews aren't out, the 2005 Soldera Case Basse seems destined to be a transcendent wine - saturating, bright, vigorous, structured and shockingly transparent.

One need only back-track three years to 2002 to find a similar situation - and of this wine Galloni wrote: "In 2002 Gianfranco Soldera crafted one of exactly three Italian reds that are profound; the others are Giacomo Conterno's Barolo Monfortino and Miani's Merlot."

What can we say - this is a very talented winemaker who takes more than a little joy in confounding expectations (as with the other strong personalities mentioned above). It should go without saying that if and when such a review comes out in regards to the 2005, you are unlikely to find it at the price we offer today.

But in truth, with a winemaker like Soldera, this Brunello should just be on the short list of wines to buy every year - right there with Jean-Louis Chave, Conterno, G. Mascarello, Rousseau, Roumier, DRC... (yes, this is the dream team).

Gianfranco Soldera burst onto the Brunello scene in the late 1970s, yet he very quickly gained an incredible reputation for his wines and his winemaking. He planted himself - and new vines - on a tiny plot in Montalcino, where he set up shop with just two hectares of Case Basse vineyards, planted entirely to Sangiovese and rendering the absolute pinnacle expression of this grape.

His "shop" is about more than just grapes, though. And that's part of the point. This is a veritable flora-and-fauna wonderland - a specially-designed ecosystem meant to reflect nature in perfect balance... it's eccentric, but still: The organic cultivation and pervading, deep respect for the land can't help but contribute to the quality of his wines.

In terms of vinification, the wines see only native yeasts, non-temperature controlled fermentation, and no fining or filtering before they're aged for at least five years in large Slavonian casks prior to release. It's obvious that this is a labor of love.

It's also obvious that this kind of integrity can't help but come on a small scale. Supply is always very limited with Soldera, and today's 2005 is only further evidence of this. We've gone long here with cellaring in mind, but our stocks are unlikely to remain.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2005 Soldera Brunello di Montalcino
Case Basse Riserva