The sub-region of Barberino Tavarnelle lies in the western part of Chianti Classico. Topping out at about 400 meters above sea-level the vines here flower early and experience a longer growing season than other areas of Chianti Classico. Wines for here typically express more earth that fruit and are the perfect companions of the region’s game focused cuisine. I met with Paolo De Marchi of Isole e Olena, a top producer from Barberino Tavarnelle to talk about these wines and learn about how his farming choices over the past 45 years have allowed him to express its special terroir.
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Paolo De Marchi, Isole e Olena
2016 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico
Aromas of earth, red berries, hints of tomato leaf, leather and cocoa. This is a food wine. This medium bodies wine is driven by earth and acidity. Flavors of fresh red cherries and cedar lend balance. Drink alongside Tuscan cuisine for maximum happiness.
2016 Isole e Olena Cepparello
100% Sangiovese from the best of selected sites throughout the estate. Nose of a dusty minerality, dark cherries and cocoa powder. An elegant texture showing wonderful balance between fruit, acid and fine tannin. Complex flavors. Drinks nice now, but will age spectacularly for decades. I recommend waiting 5 years minimum for this special wine to mature.
2013 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
Aromas of dried red berries, dutch cocoa, spy sauce and a distinct earthiness. Full bodied showing great balance between fruit and earth. Bright acid and fine tannins make this a wine for a special dinner.