1990 Soldera – Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino


I was fortunate to be exposed to Gianfranco Soldera’s wines at a relatively early age. As far back as I can remember the wines were expensive, but not in the stratosphere, like they are today. With some effort, it was possible to buy a few bottles here and there, something that is much harder now. A recent bottle of the 1990 Brunello di Montalcino brought back so many memories of my early visits to the estate, many years before a disgruntled former employee destroyed most of the wines in the cellar through an unspeakable act of vandalism, an event that was a turning point for Soldera.

This bottle, from my cellar, is one of the finest examples I have had. The only real problem with the 1990 is the existence of the 1990 Riserva, an epic, towering Brunello that, in my view, remains one of the greatest wines ever made in anywhere in the world. Soldera’s 1990 Brunello di Montalcino doesn’t quite have the visceral power and lushness of his Riserva, but you know what? It comes pretty close. Heady Sangiovese aromas and flavors literally explode onto the palate with seamless intensity. Still rich and beautifully layered, the 1990 has more than enough stuffing to drink well for another twenty years. The 1990 Brunello di Montalcino is the first Brunello Soldera made from his Case Basse vineyard. Prior to that, the Brunellos were all made from the Intistieti vineyard, as was the 1990 Riserva. Sadly, Gianfranco Soldera passed away suddenly about a year ago. This wine and so many others he made remain vivid testaments to his extraordinary life and legacy. 97/Drink 2020-2040.