Isole e Olena

A CREAM IMPORT SELECTION
Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Barberino Val d'Elsa, Chianti Classico
People: Paolo De Marchi, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Isole e Olena 2016 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT Login AG 92 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana IGT Login WS 90 AG 96 In Stock
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 (1.5 L) 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login In Stock
Isole e Olena 2015 Chianti Classico DOCG Login WS 92 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login WA 97 AG 93 <1 Case
Isole e Olena 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Login WS 93 AG 98+ In Stock
Isole e Olena 2011 Syrah, Toscana IGT Login In Stock
Isole e Olena 2015 Syrah, Toscana IGT Login AG 97 In Stock
Isole e Olena (375 ml) 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC Login WA 94 AG 94 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 2/2019
"Always outspoken, Paolo De Marchi is not shy when it comes to expressing his views. For that reason, he is not really part of the 'in crowd' of owners in Chianti Classico's highly political ecosystem. But he doesn't need to be, the wines speak for themselves. These wines are simply extraordinary. The only wines that fall a bit short are the 2015s, but rain during harvest is not exactly easy to work around. De Marchi's Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is one of just a few wines that truly express what the top of the qualitative hierarchy is, while his wines from international varieties, now out of favor, remain compelling. The flagship remains the 100% Sangiovese Cepparello, which in its best vintages, is capable of developing beautifully in bottle for 25+ years."


Vinous 1/2018
"Paolo De Marchi made one of the very finest wines of the 2014 vintage with a stunning Cepparello. De Marchi was able to push the harvest into late October and early November, which means the Sangiovese got the benefit of the warm, dry days and cool nights that arrived towards the end of the growing season, a time when the last phase of ripening took place under the gentle, shorter days of fall. There are plenty of other noteworthy wines in this collection, including the terrific 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata. These wines show why De Marchi and Isole e Olena occupy a spot among the world's elite wine estates."


Vinous 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 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 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 (375 ml) 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 94 (4/28/2017)

    The 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (375-milliliters) aims high in terms of residual sugar (at 215 grams per liter), but you'd hardly know. This dessert wine shows great integration with sweet notes of candied fruit, honey, caramel and almond marzipan. There are floral notes as well with jasmine and honeysuckle, but you also get dusty mineral tones and some herbal notes tucked in at the back. This is a medium-bodied wine with enough balanced acidity to keep it light, tonic and refreshing. As always, Isole e Olena produces one of the most elegant and ethereal Vin Santos in Chianti Classico.
  • Isole e Olena (375 ml) 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (1/4/2018)

    A wine of grace and stature, the 2007 Vin Santo is gorgeous. There is plenty of texture and plushness that is typical of the year, and yet the wine has more than enough acidity to play off the caramel, burnt sugar, dried cherry and floral notes. The wine's midweight, understated style belies the 217 grams of residual sugar.
  • Isole e Olena 2015 Chianti Classico DOCG
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (10/31/2018)

    A dark expression of black currant, blackberry, iron and tar flavors renders this red slightly ominous, showing ripeness and harmony. Vibrant, ending with good grip. Best from 2020 through 2032.
  • Isole e Olena 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 93 (10/31/2018)

    The cherry and berry flavors are accented by leather, tobacco, iron and earth notes in this firm, dry red. The fruit is expressive and intense, with a solid structure and a finish that goes on for minutes. Best from 2020 through 2036.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana IGT
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 90 (10/31/2018)

    Wild herb, eucalyptus, black currant, cherry, tobacco and spice flavors are all in the running here, buoyed by a dense matrix of tannins. Stays fresh through the long aftertaste, with lingering notes of wild thyme and rosemary. Drink now through 2023
  • Isole e Olena 2016 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (2/22/2019)

    The 2016 Chardonnay is fresh, vibrant and beautifully articulated. Varietal notes abound. Light tropical notes, pineapple, mint and orchard fruit are all laced throughout. Partially blocked malolactic fermentation keeps the flavors bright. Creamy and layered, the 2016 is exquisite in its beauty. More importantly, this is one of the very few Tuscan Chardonnays that merits serious consideration.
  • Isole e Olena 2015 Syrah, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 97 (2/22/2019)

    The 2015 Syrah is a total stunner. Bright, polished and impeccably nuanced, the 2015 is all class. Here, too, the purity of the flavors is simply remarkable. Today, the 2015 is quite primary and in need of at least several years in bottle to be at its very best, and yet all the ingredients are there for that to happen. A touch of whole clusters and drops of Viognier add an attractive floral upper register. Stated simply, the Syrah is a wine of precision and class. Only Paolo De Marchi can make Syrah of this level in Tuscany.
  • Isole e Olena 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 98+ (2/22/2019)

    The 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is breathtaking. Beautifully ripe, deep and expressive, the 2013 has it all: deep fruit, stunning aromatic presence and tremendous structure. Black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal, mint and lavender all meld together in this super-expressive, resonant Chianti Classico. An absolutely killer wine, the Gran Selezione is a fabulous, contemporary expression of Chianti Classico at its very finest. Drops of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah round out the blend. Paolo De Marchi gave the 2013 a year in barrique and second year in cask.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 96 (2/22/2019)

    A regal wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Isole e Olena soars out of the glass with tremendous aromatic and palate intensity. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2014 has so much to offer. Once again, De Marchi crafted a Cabernet Sauvignon that exudes character. Today, the 2014 is vivid but also intensely saline and clenched. Another few years in bottle should do the trick. This fruit was brought in during the last week of October and first week of November, quite late, even by the standards of the year.