Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016


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“The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is stunning. That’s hardly a surprise as Paolo De Marchi has a track record at making compelling Gran Seleziones in his own unique style. A brilliant, focused wine, the 2016 bristles with energy from start to finish. It is the rare wine that offers superb evolution in the glass as it opens over time. The blend is 90% Sangiovese plus dollops of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Drinking window: 2024-2041. 97 points

Paolo De Marchi showed me a stellar set of wines this year. What else is new? De Marchi describes 2018 as a growing season with abundant rain in spring, late summer and during harvest that required quite a bit of selection, whereas 2019 was warmer, but with no spikes. That is certainly how the wines taste. Both the 2018 Chianti Classico and Cepparello are a bit lithe, while the 2019 editions show more flesh and radiance. Wines from international varieties are way out of fashion these days, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the supremely high level of the Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon at Isole e Olena.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/21)