This installment of Cellar Notes reminds us once again of that old axiom I preach:  “Producer over Vintage”.  1994 in Tuscany was a “good” vintage at best in Tuscany.  In fact, the Wine Spectator’s vintage chart rates the vintage at “82” which is barely good.  However, the wonderful producer, Isole e Olena managed to craft fine wines, and their winemaker, Paolo di Marchi, created one delicious Cabernet. 

The 1994 Isole e Olena Cabernet “Collezione di Marchi” is now 18 years of age, but shows very little of that in it’s color.  It’s dark purple with some slight ruby reflections out at the rim of the glass.  The nose of the wine is full of complex scents: cedar, mineral, warm earth, black fruits, and slight licorice aromas are notable. In the mouth, the wine reminds of a fine St. Estephe, but is still true to it’s Italian roots which is evident from the juicy acidity in the wine and the bright, ripe fruit from the warm Italian climate.  Leather, earth, cedar and dark fruit flavors persist nicely in the long, elegant finish.  This is a stately wine, and a kind of “hybrid” between old and new world.  Delicious.  92 points.  About $35 on release. 

1994 Isole e Olena Cabernet “Collezione di Marchi”

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