James Suckling reveals Italian Wine of the Year

American wine critic James Suckling has unveiled his choice of Italian wine of the year, the 2015 vintage of Solaia, which he described as “the best Solaia ever”.

Wine critic James Suckling and Renzo Cotarella, chief enologist and CEO at Marchesi Antinori at Vinexpo in Hong Kong

Defending his choice, Suckling wrote in his latest Italian wine report: “Some of you might find it predictable, even boring. But I believe that when something is amazing quality and is a historical game-changing-icon wine from Italy, it deserves the honour.”

The red was first created by the Antinori family in 1978, seven years after the family’s more famous super tuscan red, Tignanello, was born. However, the critic believes it has become, “the icon for modern winemaking in Tuscany and a symbol for the new spirit of wine in Italy.”

He went on to laud the red as a wine that, “makes your mind race with subtle thoughts and passion for its great quality”.

Earlier in an interview with dbHK, Albiera Antinori, the first female president of the Antinori family, praised the 2015 vintage quality, “thanks to the highly favourable weather during the entire growing season.”

The critic is not the only one singing the praise of the red. Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate also awarded it a prestigious 100 points.

As a result, the release price of Solaia 2015 has risen to €155 per bottle ex-negociant, 19.2% above the release price of past three vintages, according to Liv-ex.

The critic made the choice after tasting 5,400 Italian wines this year with his team including his son Jack Suckling.

Other than Tuscany’s Solaia that toped the list, four other top wines on the Top 10 Italian Wines of the Year list came from the hallowed wine region, which are Podere Poggio Scalette Alta Valle della Greve Il Carbonaione 2015, Oreno 2016 from Sette Ponti, Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Vigneto Bellavista Gran Selezione 2015, and Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Berardo Riserva 2015.

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