Isole e Olena is a winery in in Barberino Val d’Elsa, now called Barberino Tavarnelle, in the western part of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, Italy, midway between Siena and Florence. The northern boundary of Castellina in Chianti is just to the south. Isole e Olena makes Chianti Classico DOCG red wines, and Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC sweet white wines. The name Isole e Olena dates from 1954 when two adjoining estates, Isole and Olena, were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined into one. The earliest documentation of the village of Olena dates to the 12th century. During the 1950s, the De Marchi family planted new specialised vineyards and expanded the cellars. Average production of 200,000 bottles.
Owner: Paolo di Marchi (born 1951) and Marta de Marchi, his wife. Paolo began running the estate in 1976. He is an agronomist and oenologist. His family’s home and vineyard is Proprieta Sperino, in Lessona in northern Piemonte. This is round by Marta and Paolo’s older son, Luca.
Vineyards: 45ha (111 acres). 80% Sangiovese. Paolo says Canaiolo is important for him, adding finesse and aroma. 350-450 metres (1,150-1,480 feet). Galestro soils. Influenced by the Tyrrhenian sea to the west. Calcareous-marly clay.
Winemaking: Paolo told m he seeks ripeness rather thank concentration.
Chardonnay, Collezione Privata IGT Toscana: Oak aged.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Collezione Privata: 1999 Very nice (blind) at dinner in Verona with Levi Dalton, Bernard Burtschy, Robert Joseph et al. (02 April 2017).
Cabernet Sauvignon, Collezione De Marchi: 2012 Bottled. | 2013 Bottled.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Isole e Olena: The annata des in botti and 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. Drink within 5-8 years. | 1985 Excellent vintage here. | 1988 Excellent vintage here. | 1990 Excellent vintage here. | 1997 Excellent vintage here. | 2014 13.5%. | 2016 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 5% Syrah. 140,000 bottles produced. | 2017 83% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 2% Syrah.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, La Riserva: 2015 140,000 bottles produced.
Syrah, L’Eremo: The Syrah was grafted onto Canaiolo to make Tuscany’s first varietal Syrah labelled L’Eremo. The fist Syrah in Tuscany. No longer made. | 1989 Debut.
Cepparello: Named after a nearby stream. 100% Sangiovese. Not a single vineyard but a selection of the best Sangiovese. Old vines. Normally the later picked vines. 18 months in new oak barrels. | 1990 35hl per ha. | 1997 Vina da Tavola di Toscana Rosso David Gleave MW said this ‘won enormous international acclaim but was atypical of Isole with its great power,’ in the Liberty Wines (Duty Paid List May 2001). | 1998 Vina da Tavola di Toscana Rosso ‘A return to the elegance that has always characterised Paolo’s wine’ says Liberty Wines (Duty Paid List May 2001). | 2002 Vina da Tavola di Toscana Rosso A light, elegant, Pinot style of Sangiovese with very harmonious acidity, and a good effort at Argiano on Thursday 2nd June 2005. | 2012 Bottled. | 2011 14%. 2013 100% Sangiovese. 18 months in French and American oak barrels. | 2014 Bottled.
Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC, Isole e Olena: 2001 13.5% alc. | 2006 65% Malvasia, 35% Trebbiano Toscano. | 2007 60% Malvasia, 40% Trebbiano. 8,000 bottles produced. 55% Malvasia bianca lunga toscana, 45% Trebbiano toscano. | 2009 50% each Malvasia Bianca Lunga Toscana & Trebbiano toscano.
Fattoria Isole e Olena
Loc. Isole 1
I-50021 Barberino Val d’Elsa (FI), Italy
Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016).