A couple of years ago, the 2013 version of today’s subject wine was chronicled as part of our Comprehensive Chianti Tasting Report. At the time, I was vastly disappointed with the wine and given the variable and uneven nature of the 2013 vintage, I was inclined to write it off as an isolated miss. In fact, when proclaiming Paolo di Marchi’s notion that he’s a humble farmer who simply shepherds what Mother Nature provides, I remarked that sometimes Mother Nature wins. With the 2014 vintage being what it was, I never tasted Isole’s Chianti Classico from that year. When the 2015 arrived at retail, I decided to revisit. I am disappointed to say that the 2015 isn’t much better than its predecessor. In the throes of such an across the board success as 2015, this speaks volumes. Something is amiss with this wine and at the current price point, it’s an easy and consistent pass until something changes.
Sourced from vineyards at approximately 400 meters above sea level, Isole’s Chianti Classico is a mostly traditional blend of 80% Sangiovese, 17% Canaiolo and 3% Syrah. Fermented in stainless steel, the wine is then aged in a combination of barrique and large cask for 12 months and then 3-6 months bottle aging follows before release.
The 2015 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico hails from Barberino Val d’Elsa. Perhaps it’s just simply a matter of that? This wine is not sourced from one of the better Chianti Classico Communes. The wine is a pretty but light ruby color that has faint traces of violet through the bowl. You can see right through the wine.
On the nose, the wine displays simple, straight forward aromas of crushed berry with hints of vanilla spice. On the palate, the wine falls flat. The simple flavor profile is centered around tart cranberry and stemmy tannins. The austere nature of the wine is revealed in a slight bitterness on the finish. Medium bodied at best, this is short and monolithic. In short, a simple wine not worthy of much contemplation or consideration. I don’t get it. 82 points. Not recommended. Poor value around $25. Find this wine.