Isole e Olena

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

Items

Isole e Olena 2017 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT Login AG 92 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana IGT Login WS 90 AG 96 WA 92 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2016 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT Login WS 93 AG 97+ WA 97 In Stock
Isole e Olena (1.5 L) 2016 Chianti Classico DOCG Login In Stock
Isole e Olena 2016 Chianti Classico DOCG Login AG 92 AG (90-92) WA 92+ WS 93 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2011 Syrah, Toscana IGT Login WA 96 AG 94 In Stock
Isole e Olena 2015 Syrah, Toscana IGT Login AG 97 AG 97 WA 94 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

The incredibly talented, humble, and kind Paolo De Marchi is at the helm of Isole e Olena, and has been since 1976 after taking over from his parents who purchased the property in the 1950s. From the beginning, Paolo has done groundbreaking work to understand and propel the image of Sangiovese. Until very recently, Sangiovese was thought to fare poorly by itself, and the Chianti Classico appellation demanded that it be blended with other grapes (including white) to earn the DOCG. Paolo differed from this opinion. He studied his Sangiovese vines, convinced he could produce a wine that would rival international single-varietal wines. Radically, Paolo produced his first 100% Sangiovese Cepparello in 1980 (according to history he was the second person to do this after Montevertine); this wine was an immediate success and set the standard for the pure Sangiovese movement in Tuscany. Cepparello put Paolo and his estate on the map. 40 years later, the revered Paolo is producing some of his best wines yet!

Isole e Olena is comprised of two adjoining estates in the Barberino Val d’Elsa subregion of Chianti Classico. The land totals 290 hectares of which 53 hectares are planted to vines, which include traditional Tuscan varieties as well as international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay. 70% of the estate’s production is traditional Chianti Classico and Vin Santo. The location is on the cooler, western side of Chianti Classico at about 1,310 feet. The wines maintain freshness even in the hottest years because of the sea breezes and steep diurnal shift.

Vinous 8/2019
"Paolo De Marchi describes 2016 as a cool year with a lot of sunshine and well-timed rains, conditions that resulted in slow ripening of the grapes and a late, relaxed harvest that started at the end of September and wrapped up during the second half of October. As for the wines, they are simply off the charts. I don't know if there is much more I can say than that."


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 (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 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 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 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.
  • Isole e Olena 2016 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 93 (5/1/2019)

    This is full of ripe black cherry, plum, earth and mineral flavors, the sweet fruit meshing with dense, dusty tannins. There is a light touch of oak spice, and the finish is long and structured. Best from 2021 through 2028.
  • Isole e Olena 2016 Chianti Classico DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (8/22/2019)

    The 2016 Chianti Classico is a gorgeous wine that very much captures the essence of the house style. Bright floral and savory notes, sweet red cherry fruit, tobacco and mint are all finely knit in this super-appealing, mid-weight Chianti Classico from Isole e Olena. As always, the Chianti Classico here is lithe, aromatically precise and all about elegance.
  • Isole e Olena 2016 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 97+ (8/22/2019)

    The 2016 Cepparello is dense, dark and also very closed in on itself. Those qualities bode well for the future, but readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. Black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and new leather gradually open up in the glass, but the 2016 is not ready to show all of its cards. This fruit was brought in during the second week of October, which is pretty much optimal at Isole e Olena. The 2016 spent 20 months in French oak, with a bit less than 30% new oak, and a few months in cask prior to bottling. An explosion of floral and spice notes punctuates the super-refined finish. The 2016 is shaping up to be epic. Don't miss it!
  • Isole e Olena 2015 Syrah, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 97 (9/22/2019)

    The 2015 Syrah is off the charts gorgeous. Deep, plush and varietally expressive, the 2015 possesses tremendous character and personality. Inky red/purplish berry fruit, mint, new oak lavender, spice and licorice notes burst out of the glass in an exuberant, potent Syrah endowed with superb richness and textural resonance. The 2015 somehow manages to capture varietal expression, a distinctly Chianti Classico-drenched expression of structure and the natural richness of the vintage. Exceptionally beautiful, sensual and inviting, the 2015 is a masterpiece from Paolo De Marchi.
  • Isole e Olena 2017 Chardonnay, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (8/22/2019)

    The 2017 Chardonnay is rich, unctuous and creamy, with all of the intensity of the vintage on display. Dried flowers, marzipan, lemon confit and pastry give the 2017 much of its extroverted, rich personality. Tropical notes develop later, adding an exotic flair. Dehydration on the vine and tiny juice yields produced an unusually lush, flamboyant Chardonnay.
  • Isole e Olena 2016 Chianti Classico DOCG
    Vinous
    Rating: (90-92) (2/22/2019)

    The 2016 Chianti Classico is fabulous. Deep and pliant. The 2016 is another hugely promising wine from Paolo De Marchi. All of the pedigree of the vintage comes through in the wine's textural depth and complexity. The fruit tons are dark and yet there is a wonderful sense of translucence to the 2016. Dollops of Canaiolo and Syrah complement Sangiovese nicely."
  • Isole e Olena 2016 Chianti Classico DOCG
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92+ (9/19/2019)

    Here's a great value from Tuscany. The 2016 Chianti Classico opens to a stream of pretty aromas, with cherry, blue flower and potting soil at the front line. The wine is made with 82% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 3% Syrah. The fruit is fermented in stainless steel, and the wine ages in oak for a brief seven months. The effect is streamlined and compact, and the wine's natural freshness gives way to wild cherry, cassis and plum.
  • Isole e Olena 2016 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 97 (9/19/2019)

    The beautiful Isole e Olena 2016 Cepparello is a gorgeous and precise expression of Sangiovese. This is one of the icon wines of the vintage that shows a naked and transparent portrait of the grape on the one hand, with the complexity of the vintage and its territory on the other. Cepparello is like a crystal ball into the heart and soul of Sangiovese, Tuscany's mighty red grape. The wine delivers ample structure and contouring, with a firm and silky consistency at its core.
  • Isole e Olena 2015 Syrah, Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 94 (10/31/2018)

    Syrah loves a warm vintage, and that's exactly what it gets here. The 2015 Syrah Collezione Privata is a full and generous expression that opens to dark fruit aromas backed by bitter chocolate, spice and smoked bacon. You can identify that Tuscan signature here, thanks to the chalky mineral notes that give this wine so much definition and focus. You do feel some ripeness here with jammy fruit favors followed by sweet tobacco and tar. The wine is rich and succulent in terms of mouthfeel.
  • Isole e Olena 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (10/31/2018)

    Showing slightly green or medicinal aromas of garden herb, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata (with tiny additions of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot) is a product of a cooler vintage. The wine offers very nice aromatic intensity with a bouquet that is sharp, pointed and still a bit nervous in character. However, I have often commented on that nervous energy in the past. Rather than being spurred on by the vintage, it is an expected characteristic of this wine. Grapes come from an area of Chianti Classico that sees steep diurnal shifts between day and nighttime temperatures. One thing that can be specifically attributed to the vintage, however, is the mouthfeel, which tastes compact and streamlined in 2014.
  • Isole e Olena 2011 Syrah, Toscana IGT
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 96 (4/27/2017)

    Here is an exciting home run. To be released in September, the 2011 Syrah Collezione Privata is a dark, luscious and absolutely delicious Tuscan red. Syrah loves a hot vintage like this. You can taste the grape's beaming enthusiasm and healthiness thanks to those succulent layers of blackberry and pressed cherry followed by chocolate, tobacco, bacon fat and savory spice. However, the results are never flabby or flat. The finish delivers just the right dose of acidity to keep the palate refreshed and alive. This is an impressive and beautiful wine with a long, velvety finish.
  • Isole e Olena 2011 Syrah, Toscana IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (1/10/2018)

    The 2011 Syrah Collezione Privata is a big, powerful wine. Dark cherry, smoke, plum, pipe tobacco, cedar, leather and menthol notes make a strong opening statement. Plush and deep on the palate, the 2011 is super-inviting. A dollop of Viognier rounds out the blend. This is one of the most intriguing Syrahs being made in Italy today.
  • Isole e Olena 2016 Chianti Classico DOCG
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 93 (8/31/2019)

    Broad and complex, delivering plum, black cherry, almond, leather and earth flavors. The tannins are dusty and well-integrated, while vibrant acidity keeps the flavors pumping through the long finish. Best form 2021 through 2036.