Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2020


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“The 2020 Chianti Classico is such a classy wine. Deep and layered, yet wonderfully translucent, the 2020 is one of the best editions of this wine I can remember tasting. Macerated dark cherry, kirsch, cedar and pipe tobacco open first, but what I am most drawn to is the wine’s textural resonance and sheer power. The 2020 possesses remarkable depth yet retains the transparency that is such a signature here. This is a fabulous showing. Drinking window: 2023-2033. 91 points

My most recent visit to Isole e Olena was decidedly bittersweet. Paolo De Marchi turned out an exceptional set of 2020s, wines that are among his very best ever. However, the sale of Isole e Olena has been quite traumatic. It’s a complex subject, the result of a mix of family dynamics and the lack of an industry structure that could long-term stability. These factors are not unique to Isole e Olena but rather conditions that afflict all family-owned wineries in Italy. Personally, I would like to see more long-term thinking in Italy, but that is not typically part of the cultural construct here. New owners EPI Group, who also own Biondi-Santi, will surely put their own stamp on things. Obviously, it is much too early to know where things will go. Right now, I can only advise Isole e Olena fans to snap up the 2020s, as they are magical.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/23)