Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2011
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
The grapes are grown on the Isole o Olena estate which covers 290 hectares in the heart of the Chianti Classico hills between Florence and Siena, of which 49 are planted with vines and 42 are in production. The vineyards are approximately 400 meters above sea level and face south west. It's an elegant and balanced Chianti Classico that is medium bodied, with ripe cherry fruits and spice. Cedar notes are present on the nose and pallet. It is very focused and pretty with fresh acidity and firm tannins.
Wine Enthusiast - "Alluring aromas of blue flower, meat juices, woodland berries and spice jump out of the glass after pouring this luminous blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah. The juicy palate offers a core of dark cherry layered with savory black pepper, cinnamon and clove alongside assertive but elegant tannins. This already shows nice depth but hold a few more years for more complexity."
James Suckling - "There's a spicy, light earth and dried cherry character here. Medium body, good fruit and a fresh finish. Bright and citrusy. Delicious young wine. Drink now"
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Sweet raspberry, rose petal and spice notes wrap around the palate in the 2011 Chianti Classico. Soft and enveloping, the 2011 is highly typical of the vintage. In 2011 proprietor Paolo De Marchi used about 10% Syrah to give the wine a little more freshness. Savory herbs, tobacco and licorice add nuance on the finish. The 2011 is an outstanding wine. I would drink the 2011 now and give the 2010 another year in bottle."
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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.