Isole e Olena Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


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“The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata is another stellar wine in this range from Isole e Olena and Paolo De Marchi. Still pretty tightly wound, the 2018 is going to need at least a few years to fully unwind. Dark blue/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, mocha and espresso are some of the many aromas and flavors that start to open with a bit of aeration. The Isole Cabernet has a brilliant track record of aging. I expect the 2018 will one day take its place among the very finest editions. Drinking window: 2026-2043. 96 points

Paolo De Marchi’s decision to sell Isole e Olena was on every producer’s mind when I visited Chianti Classico recently. Never one to hold back his opinions, De Marchi quickly established himself as a leader in the appellation with a series of stunning wines and a relentless drive to build the reputation of his estate. I can still remember the first time I tasted the flagship Cepparello. I was probably in my mid-twenties, and yet the wine was so distinctive I have never forgotten it. While focus has always been on Sangiovese, De Marchi is one of the few producers in Tuscany who has also excelled with Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, as I have personally seen in tasting many older vintages here over the years. To say that Paolo De Marchi will be missed is a massive understatement, but words aren’t really adequate to express all he has achieved and contribute in a long, storied career that goes back to the mid-1970s.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/22)