Country: Italy Region: Tuscany Vintage: 2009
Category: Sweet White Color: White
Producer: Isole e Olena
"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, while his Vin Santo is one of the best produced."
Product Features: Sustainable;Vegetarian
Winemaker: Paolo De Marchi
The grapes are grown on the Isole e Olena estate which covers 320 hectares, of which 49 are planted with vines and 55 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. When Paolo De Marchi arrived at Isole e Olena in 1976, he stopped using white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia, in the blend for Chianti. He then asked the old farmers how to make the best Vin Santo possible, using traditional methods, and used the white grapes for this wine.
The grapes were dried for three to five months before pressing, after which the must was racked into 'caratelli' (small barrels of varying composition) where it fermented and aged for eight years before bottling. The wine remained on the 'madre' or starter culture for the entire ageing/fermenting period, during which time it was neither racked nor filtered. At the end of the ageing period, the resulting yield in wine from grapes comprises only 12-15%; that is, for every 100 kilos of grapes, only about 12 to 15 litres of Vin Santo are produced!
Lovely golden-amber in colour with an intense, open perfume of dried citrus peel, dried apricots and honey, giving way to a rich, luscious palate, with incredibly concentrated characters of honey, dried apricot and vanilla. A delicious, fresh finish keeps the wine unctuous without being cloying.
Food Suggestion: Best enjoyed chilled on its own, or with cheese to finish a meal.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:13% Classification: DOC