A large part of the enjoyment of fine wine is pulling a perfectly aged bottle from your collection. Anyone can buy a current vintage release, but when your guests glance at the bottle and see that it’s 10 or 15 years old, it often adds a special allure to the dinner.  
The wine media focuses mostly on new releases and that’s understandable.  But here at Tuscan Vines, we occasionally feature an older wine and call these articles  “Cellar Notes“.  These will be most beneficial to those who have cellared away age-worthy wines and wish to know how they’re doing after slumbering all these years.  You will continue to see these “Cellar Notes” features in the future.
Today’s Cellar Notes wine is from the Brunello producer Argiano and is the 1999 Argiano Solengo.  Solengo was controversial from the very start.  The inaugural vintage was the 1995 and the blend of the wine through the 1999 vintage was 25% Cabernet, 25% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, and 25% Syrah.  It always struck me as a wine searching for an identity as it seemed to lack any decisive personality, and instead seemed to be generic red wine.  Cellaring, has paid off.
The 1999 Solengo is dark, violet red in the glass.  It has wonderful aromas of cassis, toast, licorice and floral tones.  In the mouth, the wine is full and round with ripe blackberry flavors, leather, and warm earth tones. Slight black licorice and dusty minerals appear on the finish. The wine is very much displaying the Montalcino terroir.  Acids and tannins are all in balance and it was wonderful with a variety of foods. 
Beginning with the 2000 vintage, the wine is now a blend of 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot.  And to me, that’s the flavor profile the 1999 showed. It was a great Cabernet based Super Tuscan; an “Italian Bordeaux” to coin a phrase.  Threw a heavy sediment, so decant in advance.  93 points, about $40 upon release.  Price is noteworthy because current releases of this wine soared to almost $90 per bottle, but have now fallen way back down.  Recent releases (the 2005) are less than $40. 

1999 Argiano Solengo
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