Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2007
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
If in 1972, the 23-year-old De Marchi had tasted the 2007 Isole e Olena Sangiovese, he wouldn't have believed the label on the bottle. Those early wines were hard, under ripe, often brick-color on release. This Chianti Classico may be the bargain of 2007. Packed with amazing dark red fruit opulence, laced with De Marchi's signature wild herb aromatics, this big shouldered Chianti has a ripe tannin finish that just won't leg go.
International Wine Cellar - "Moderately saturated red. Complex aromas of red fruits, gunflint, white pepper and violet. Then sweet, supple and silky in the mouth, with rather suave red fruit, tobacco and sweet spice flavors. The firm finish features building chewy tannins, sneaky length and a persistent floral note. Though it's already quite accessible, I'd cellar it for another couple of years and enjoy for another ten after that."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Chianti Classico is simply marvelous. A touch rounder and more generous than is typically the case, the Chianti Classico reveals intense aromatics that meld into a core of rich, expansive red fruit. The open-knit, giving quality of 2007 is on full display, while clean, mineral notes on the finish add a measure of clarity and balance. Despite the wine's ripeness, this remains one of the more understated, hushed Chiantis of the vintage. Readers who enjoy the Burgundian side of Sangiovese will flip out over this wine. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020."
Isole e Elena Winery
Isole e Olena was formed in the 1950's when the DeMarchi family purchased two vineyards in the heart of the Chianti Classico region and combined them into one. Since the 1970's, Paolo DeMarchi has become a leading winemaker in the region by experimenting to improve the Chianti blends and by making wines from 100% Sangiovese (which he labels Cepparello). The goal is producing complex wines with good aging potential. View all Isole e Elena Wines
About Tuscany(TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.