Isole e Olena, Chianti Classico (Tuscany, Italy) 2011

($25, Grape Expectations): Paolo de Marchi, owner, viticulturist and winemaker at Isole e Olena, makes only two Sangiovese-based wines. This one and his super stellar Cepparello. Since he stopped making a Chianti Classico Riserva more than 25 years ago, the Sangiovese that doesn’t go into Cepparello goes into his anything but normal, Chianti Classico. That decision explains why it’s a great wine year after year. With good weight to it, the 2011 has an impeccable balance of dark cherry-like and earthy savory flavors. Bright and lively with considerable polish, drinking it now brings a smile to your face. It’s a great buy.
92 Michael Apstein Mar 4, 2014