Isole e Olena

A CREAM IMPORT SELECTION
Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Chianti Classico, Tuscany
People: Paolo De Marchi, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Isole e Olena 2014 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT Login AG 91 WA 91+ In Stock
Isole e Olena 2015 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT Login WA 93+
Isole e Olena 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana IGT Login On Order
Isole e Olena 2014 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT Login WA (93-95) On Order
Isole e Olena (1.5 L) 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login In Stock
Isole e Olena (1.5 L) 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login In Stock
Isole e Olena 2014 Chianti Classico DOCG Login AG 89+ WA 90 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login WA 97 AG 93 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login WA 96 AG 98+ In Stock
Isole e Olena (375 ml) 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC Login AG 94 WA 96 In Stock



Media Links
About.com: Italian Food
Jancis Robinson: Paolo de Marchi on esca
Polish Wine Guide: Isole e Olena - lightness, juiciness, naturalness

In the 1950s, the De Marchi family purchased two adjoining estates in the heart of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany to create the Isole e Olena winery. The vineyard is situated about 400 meters above sea level and 42 of the 290 hectares are in production.

The family implemented cellar and vineyard improvements to these two estates, the oldest of which dates back to the 12th century. Paolo De Marchi has been running the property since 1976, and is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Paolo was raised in Piemonte, and also makes Nebbiolo-centric wine in that region at a family estate.

In Tuscany, Paolo has focused on both traditional Sangiovese wines and international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay. Isole e Olena 'Cepparello,' Paolo’s flagship wine, introduced in 1980, is a 100% Sangiovese wine that set the standard for the pure Sangiovese movement.

Vinous Media by Antonio Galloni 9/2015
"Paolo De Marchi remains one of the most forward-thinking producers in Italy. His 100% Sangiovese Cepparello was a ground -breaking wine in the 1980s, when Sangiovese was four-letter word and international varieties were all the rage. Now the Gran Selezione is hot and there has never been more focus on pure Sangiovese in Chianti Classico. So what does De Marchi do? Simply make one of the greatest Tuscan wines ever with his 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, which is, ironically, a blend of Sangiovese and Bordeaux varieties. So, now the top wine at Isole e Olena - an estate that has championed Sangiovese for three-plus decades (far before it was fashionable to do so) - is now a blend. In 2011, De Marchi added a dollop of Trebbiano to freshen up his Cepparello. What's old is new again? At the end of the day, none of that really matters. 'I want to make the best wine I can. Period,' says De Marchi in his typical self-deprecating style. Make no mistake about it, these are some of the greatest wines being made anywhere in the world. Chapeau."

Reviews

  • Isole e Olena (375 ml) 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (9/1/2015)

    The 2006 Vin Santo is quite powerful and viscous in the glass, perhaps a bit more so than is the norm. An exotic mélange of dried fig, honey, sage, baking spices and sweet herbs are all thrust forward. This is one of the most intense Vin Santos I can remember tasting at Isole e Olena. The 220 grams of residual sugar are clearly felt in the wine's heft, yet all the elements are in the right place.
  • Isole e Olena (375 ml) 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 96 (10/1/2015)

    The 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is a divine dessert wine that boasts the best of this labor-intensive winemaking tradition. Vintners who make Vin Santo will always tell you that they do so for passion. The quantities are so small and the commercial margins so thin, pure passion is the only reason someone would embark on this kind of project. Happily for us wine lovers, people like Paolo De Marchi have that passion. His Vin Santo is one of the best available today. The wine is impeccable and beautiful inside and out. Caramel, maple syrup, roasted pine nut and dried apricot emerge from the bouquet. I find this wine to be simply irresistible for those with a sweet tooth and those without.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 91 (10/1/2016)

    The 2014 Chardonnay Collezione Privata is bright, focused and tense, with all of the depth that is such a signature here. Tropical fruit, white flowers, orange peel, chamomile and lightly buttered notes open up nicely, with beams of salinity that give the wine its freshness and verve. This is an especially bold, savory Chardonnay, but it also maintains terrific energy.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Chianti Classico DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 89+ (10/1/2016)

    The 2014 Chianti Classico is one of the prettiest and most refined wines of the vintage. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, mint and white pepper give the 2014 much of its signature brightness and vibrancy. The cool, late-ripening season produced a lithe Chianti Classico with salivating acidity and mid-weight structure. Of course, those are qualities the Isole e Olena wines tend to have in most vintages, but in 2014, they are accentuated. I imagine the biting acidity will give the 2014 many years of life in the cellar. The 2014 has all the potential to be one of the sleepers of this vintage.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91+ (12/30/2016)

    Beautifully opulent and rich, the 2014 Chardonnay Collezione Privata defies the difficulties of the vintage. This is a beautiful white wine with fragrant tones of stone fruit, honey and vanilla. In the mouth, it offers rich texture and medium density. Chardonnay grapes are fermented in oak (one -hird is new) and the wine rests on the lees for up to 12 months depending on the vintage.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Chianti Classico DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (12/30/2016)

    This wine offers excellent value and with 160,000 bottles produced, it should be easy to find. The 2014 Chianti Classico is 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah, aged in small and large oak barrels for one year. It offers beautifully polished and fine aromas of wild berry, toasted almond, grilled herb and blue violet. Compared to its peers from this difficult vintage, this wine offers noticeably more definition and depth.
  • Isole e Olena 2015 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93+ (4/28/2017)

    This white wine hits all the high notes with impeccable precision. The 2015 Chardonnay Collezione Privata shows two sides to the bouquet. On one hand you get generous fruit tones of apricot and preserved lemon with the opulent fullness that characterizes this excellent vintage. On the other hand, you get delicate notes of flint and brimstone that give the wine a linear sense of backbone and persistence. The mouthfeel is driven by freshness, medium build and a very long finish. This is a terrific Chardonnay from Tuscany.
  • Isole e Olena 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 97 (10/29/2015)

    The 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a controversial wine and for good reason. Proprietor Paolo De Marchi was initially opposed to the idea of introducing the Gran Selezione category above the Chianti Classico Riserva. But more than a year ago, the Institute of Masters of Wine held a special dinner in Florence and producers were invited to pour only Gran Selezione wines. Paolo had an amazing barrel of Sangiovese put aside for a commemorative wine to celebrate his 30th anniversary as a winemaker. He hoped to dedicate that wine as a special limited release. Because he also wanted to pour something of his at the Masters of Wine dinner, he declassified the wine and re-registered it as a Gran Selezione. This also explains why it is from an older vintage. Most of his peers inaugurated this new category with the 2010 vintage. Only 1,800 bottles were made (of which 500 are put aside for the family's personal use) and the blend consists of Sangiovese with 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Syrah. "I love Chianti Classico and I love super Tuscans," says Paolo De Marchi. "This wine is a crossover of the two." The wine shows gorgeous ripeness with brooding dark fruit, depth and extreme balance. This is a wine that makes a statement upfront both in terms of the quality of the aromas and its overall integrity and persistency.
  • Isole e Olena 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 96 (10/29/2015)

    The 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is mostly Sangiovese with smaller parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. This is indeed a beautiful effort with an impeccable nose that is redolent of fine forest berry, red currant, spice, leather, tar and balsam herb. The nose is stunning now, but you can expect it to flesh out and improve with time. The mouthfeel is incredibly long and silky with super fine and elegant tannins.
  • Isole e Olena 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (9/1/2015)

    Isole e Olena's 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, a wine that was originally produced for home consumption, turned out to be the drawing board for the Gran Selezione. Cherry jam, earthiness, spices, mocha, sweet herbs and French oak all meld together in the glass. The 2006 is marked by a slightly oxidative note in its aromatics it has always shown - the result of having spent three and a half years in oak. Otherwise, the 2006 is exceptional.
  • Isole e Olena 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 98+ (9/1/2015)

    The 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is extraordinary. A wine of pedigree and class, the 2010 boasts magnificent intensity and depth yet never comes across as heavy. The flavors are layered, nuanced and beautifully delineated in the glass. Plum, black cherry, spice, menthol and sweet spices are laced into the exquisite finish. The 2010 is a stunner today, but also has plenty of upside for the future. A reduction of time in barrel vis-a-vis the 2006 has paid off handsomely. The 2010 is going to be expensive, but it is worth every penny. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot round out the blend.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (93-95) (4/28/2017)

    Here is another big surprise from an underdog vintage. The 2014 Cepparello had recently been bottled when I preview tasted it, but it is far from its release date. Paolo De Marchi sold off any finished wine that did not live up to his standards and picked the very best results for this edition. Production this vintage is down by almost a quarter. This is a beauty. It flaunts a deep, dark appearance with succulent fruit, savory spice, leather and grilled herb. The oak element needs additional time to integrate and it surely will as the wine continues its slow bottle evolution. Only a third of the blend is aged in new oak. This upcoming Cepparello is a wine of substance and distinction.