Country: Italy Region: Tuscany
Varietal: Sangiovese (80%) / Canaiolo (15%) / Syrah (5%)
Vintage: 2017 Colour: Red Style: Dry
Producer: Paolo de Marchi
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, and the earliest documentation of the village of Olena goes as far back as the 12th century. During the 1950s, the De Marchi family planted new specialised vineyards and expanded the cellars. Today, the estate is run by Paolo De Marchi and his wife Marta. Paolo comes from a family with three generations of winemaking experience in the northern part of Piemonte and his older son, Luca, now runs the family estate there, Proprieta Sperino.
The grapes are grown on the Isole e Olena estate which covers 290 hectares, of which 49 are planted with vines and 45 with olives. The vineyards are approximately 400 metres above sea level and face south-west. The oldest vines on the estate were planted in 1958 and the youngest in 2007. Paolo was one of the first producers in Chianti Classico to plant high density vineyards with the new, lower yielding clones of Sangiovese in the 1980s. In many cases, as with Poggio di Olena, he returned to the poor soils on hillside sites that had been abandoned when quantity as more important than quality. As a result of these changes, Paolo gets better grapes, and hence better wines.
Virtually no rain fell at the beginning of 2017 and temperatures were cool. Much-needed light rain fell in late May and early June. Summer was very hot and dry with water reserves almost completely exhausted. Fortunately, gentle but sufficient rain arrived in mid-August reviving the leaves and fruit, which had become almost completely wilted and deflated, allowing them to spring back to life to become full and healthy in time for harvest.
Fermentation took place in tank with 15 days maceration, delestage and pumping-over twice a day. Delestage (or 'rack and return') is a method of extraction during fermentation which gives wines of good colour and soft tannins. The maceration tank is emptied of fermenting must, the cap allowed to dry out for two to three hours and then the must is poured back over the cap. De Marchi first experimented with this method in 1996 and subsequently began using it for all red wines from the 1997 vintage. Maturation lasted one year and took place in barrel (of which 5% in new oak) and 4,000 litre oak casks.
A deep crimson red colour. Typical sour cherry and red fruit character with bramble notes. The palate has a supple, lithe character full of perfumed fruit and is given depth by a mineral vein. Structure comes from the taut acidity and tannin structure.
Food Matches: Pasta / Game / Risottos / Venison