Isole e Olena is one of my favourite Chianti producers. I have been drinking their wine since I started drinking serious wine. This year is a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Canaiolo, it has richness and savouriness with a spine of dry tannins. The Syrah adds a nice richness to the middle palate that makes for a slightly silkier wine and it is all the better for it. This is Chianti that will evolve well in the cellar. This paired beautifully with Spencer & Co’s charcuterie platter.
Isole e Olena began in 1950. It is a great estate in Tuscany. They were one of the pioneers of the reforming of Chianti with the wines now known collectively as the Super Tuscans. Cepparello is their flagship and their Chianti Classico is stunning too.
Chianti Classico DOCG
Italy’s most famous wine region. Beautiful lightly wooded rolling hills covered in vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees. The reds from Chianti Classico received its greatest boost in quality when the region received the much more stringent DOCG rating.
When most people think of Central Italy they think of Tuscany. Not surprisingly because Chianti is an ocean of vineyards within the winegrowing region of Central Tuscany. Chianti produces more than 750000 hectolitres of wine each year. Tuscany’s wine history starts somewhere in the 8th-5th Century BCE when it was part of Etruria. Vernaccia from San Gimignano and reds from Montepulciano were known and loved before the Renaissance. The Tuscany we know now started in 19th Century with Chianti gaining the ascendancy. Brunello di Montalcino debuted in 1888 and the Super Tuscans took shape in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Widely cultivated across Italy from Emilia-Romagna to Campania and producing as much wine as Barbera Low colour, light body, savoury, dry tannin and fair acid. When it grows in the right sites, the fruit power is amazing too. A wide range of clones and hugely diverse growing conditions sees the variety represent easy drinking ‘quaffers’, all the way to benchmarks such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Sangiovese di Romagna and Morellino di Scansano.