Without Compromise: 02 Soldera Case Basse Riserva

Posted by CrushWine

Montalcino, Without Compromise
2002 Soldera Case Basse
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Brunello at Its Most Enlightened, Precise and Transparent

"...a firm, classic Brunello that will thrill those who appreciate traditionally made wines. In 2002 Gianfranco Soldera crafted one of exactly three Italian reds that are profound..."
- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate

It's a conventional tenet: The truly great producers claim their status in the most challenging vintages with wines that are profound, nevermind nature's scenario. And so, here's further proof that Gianfranco Soldera ranks, undeniably, among the greats.

Today we present his 2002 Case Basse Brunello Riserva. For the collectors, Soldera's Brunello is on the (very) shortlist of the most desirable Italian wines. At this pricing, we suggest making some room in your cellar.

If 02 in Tuscany was tough, Soldera didn't notice. Like Conterno's Monfortino, his 02 Case Basse, as Galloni proclaims, is profound. This is Brunello in its most enlightened, precise, transparent form, a force field of ultra-pure, agile, dark fruit that penetrates even more than it saturates the palate, all shot up with deeply spiced earth, rich tobacco, dried and heady wild flowers.

This is Brunello as traditional and as exact as it can be - absolute Montalcino expressed without compromise. Soldera only burst onto the Brunello scene in the late 1970s, but his eccentricism and unwavering, impassioned pursuit of the purest terroir rushed him into the spotlight as a modern legend.

Soldera 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... again, it's eccentric, but still: The ultra-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 - we're coming up on 06 Brunellos for many producers, and here Soldera is just now releasing his 02s.

These 02s are monuments: muscular and seriously structured with formidable tannins - yet graceful. As Galloni's tasting note references, "The depth and richness of the fruit is simply breathtaking for its detail, clarity and inner perfume." They're already thrilling, even as they may come across as austere in their youth... still, the real pleasure will come after 20, even 30 years of rest. For those who can, we strongly recommend taking a four-pack and clocking the evolution.

To place your order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Robert Schagrin
Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits

2002 Soldera Case Basse
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

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