Isole e Olena

Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy

Paolo De Marchi's vineyards, like those of Giovanni Manetti at Fontodi, are superbly tended. This, more than anything, yields wines of the quality that have kept them both ahead of the chasing pack for the past three decades.

The name 'Isole e Olena' came about in the 1950s when two adjoining estates, 'Isole' and 'Olena', were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined to form one. The history of both estates dates back many hundreds of years, with the earliest documentation of the village of Olena in the 12th century.

Isole e Olena is situated in the western part of Chianti Classico, just north of the village of Castellina. Its 45 hectares of vineyard are situated between 350 - 450 metres above sea level, and are planted primarily on galestro soil. Because the western flank of Chianti is open to breezes from the sea, this is a much cooler part of the zone, and results in wines that are lighter but more scented and elegant than many others.

Cepparello, Paolo's flagship wine, made solely from Sangiovese, is fragrant with great elegance and balance. His Chianti, a blend of 80% Sangiovese supplemented by Canaiolo, Colorino and a dash of Syrah, is scented and alluring.

His Chardonnay is outstanding, one of Italy’s best examples of this variety. The 2017 vintage was particularly difficult for this variety at Isole, with production down 50% due to the combined effect of wild boar damage and exceptionally hot weather. As a result, the price has risen. Paolo’s Vinsanto is one of the best produced.

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