Anybody over the age of about 40, or so, will probably remember those ubiquitous empty flasks of Chianti that often doubled as ‘stylish’ candle holders, not only in Bohemian apartments, but even in some Italian restaurants. What is chic and stylish in one age, however, can become tacky later, and it is unfortunate that this change in attitude towards the practice managed to attach itself to Chianti wine as a whole. In fact, these Sangiovese varietal based group of wines from Tuscany, can vary from very rough and rustic ‘jug’ wines to some complex and deservedly acclaimed products. Today’s selection, from the Chianti Classico DOCG (as opposed to the much broader, plain Chianti DOCG), is pretty decent, but, IMHO, probably not entirely worth its relatively steep price tag…
- Winery: Isole e Olena SRL
- Price: $31.75 CDN
- Alcohol: 14%
- Sugar: 1.9 g/L
The primary varietal, Sangiovese, makes up 80% of the blend with Canaiolo and Syrah included at 15% and 5% respectively. The color is a medium dark raspberry and just a shade less than crystal clear. There is some red fruit on the rather muted nose but it is almost matched by a rather vegetal quality with some woody notes. The body is quite light but decently smooth and the first impact is a very robust, tart acidity that falls off gradually through the middle. It is quite dry and the tannins, almost unnoticeable at the start, develop a little later on but remain as more of a background effect against the acid. The dominant taste is tart red fruit. The vegetal quality of the nose is apparent as well but to a far lesser degree and the one note that saves the overall effect from being a bit too sharp is a very lovely combination of oak and cedar the rises near the beginning and lasts almost through the entire finish. I like it well enough, but I gave it a 3 star rather than a 4 star rating is I didn’t think the quality justified the price.