2006 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

The wines of Paolo di Marchi, proprietor of Isole e Olena, admirably retains a sense of what is typically Tuscan, even while so many of his neighbors churn out overly extracted, Cabernet-influenced bottlings. How? Di Marchi embraces pristine, careful viticulture, and he shoots for full ripeness in his Sangiovese, the classic grape of Tuscany.

Paolo took over his family's estate when he was just 20 years old and spent a quarter of a century turning Isole e Olena into one of Tuscany's gems, through careful vineyard development and incessant refinement of winemaking techniques.

Winemaker Paolo Di Marchi
Winemaker Paolo Di Marchi
His Chianti Classico routinely showcases the supple balance of Sangiovese, and this was certainly the case in 2006. As usual, one can thank high-density vineyards, along with Di Marchi's uncanny ability to harvest at peak ripeness, and his meticulous care in the cellar.

This deep red wine shows notes of earth and truffles on the nose, along with rich black fruits. On the palate, there are hints of dark cherries, along with fine acidity and silky tannins. The latter ensure a precise yet lingering finish.

Pair this wine with baked polenta with Italian sausage and Gorgonzola. It's best that you use slow-cooked, stone ground polenta.