Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2017
For many people, Paolo de Marchi’s name is synonymous with high-quality Tuscan wines. His estate, Isole e Olena is located in the Barberino Val d’Elsa subregion on the cooler, western side of the Chianti Classico zone between the hamlets of Isole e Olena. A fourth generation winemaker, Paolo took over the property in 1976 from his parents who had purchased it in the 1950s. The property encompasses 130 acres of vines, mostly traditional Tuscan varieties (Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia and Trebbiano), although he also has plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay.
Sangiovese is a vigorous grape that benefits from strict pruning to concentrate the fruit. It is low in anthocyanins (antioxidants that add color) and can be difficult to ripen. (The Brunello clone is the exception.) Historically, Canaiolo and Colorino were added to soften the acidity and add color. It has flavor characteristics of black cherries and something uniquely Tuscan, forest floor, smoke, a hint of blood and cured meat.