Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

Chianti Classico

Isole e Olena

The name 'Isole e Olena' came about in the 1950s when two adjoining...

estates, 'Isole' and 'Olena', were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined to form one. The history of both estates dates back many hundreds of years, and the earliest documentation of the village of Olena goes as far back as the 12th century. During the 1950s, the De Marchi family planted specialised vineyards and expanded the cellars. Today, the estate is run by Paolo De Marchi and his wife Marta. Paolo comes from a family with three generations of winemaking experience in the northern part of Piemonte and his older son, Luca, now runs the family estate there, Proprietà Sperino.

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The grapes are grown on the Isole e Olena estate which covers 290 hectares, of which 49 are planted with vines and 45 with olives. The vineyards are approximately 400 metres above sea level and face south-west. The oldest vines on the estate were planted in 1958 and the youngest in 2007. Paolo was one of the first producers in Chianti Classico to plant high density vineyards with the new, lower yielding clones of Sangiovese in the 1980s. In many cases, as with Poggio di Olena, he returned to the poor soils on hillside sites that had been abandoned when quantity as more important than quality. As a result of these changes, Paolo gets better grapes, and hence better wines.

Vintage Information

2006 was an outstanding vintage in Tuscany, with perfect autumn weather conditions including long, sunny days and cool nights which allowed tannins to ripen well and encouraged development of the aromatic qualities in the grapes.


Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc grapes were fermented in open top oak vats, undergoing three to four weeks of maceration. The Syrah underwent a short pre-fermentation cold soak in stainless steel with two weeks of maceration before it was pressed into barrels. The Isole e Olena Gran Selezione aged for two years in French barriques and two years in oak casks prior to bottling. It was released by the estate in 2015. Most Gran Selezione that have been released are from the 2010 vintage; the Isole e Olena Gran Selezione is the only 2006 vintage available. Paolo De Marchi says, "If a producer is going to make a Gran Selezione, it should at least be a new, different wine. It shouldn't just be a former Chianti Classico Riserva that's had an extra six months ageing, or a wine that used to be labelled as an IGT." This explains his blend of grapes. The wine that Paolo wanted to produce had to show "elegance and drinkability of Chianti Classico with the structure of a Super Tuscan".

Vintage Information

Vintage 2006
Grape varieties 80% Sangiovese
12% Cabernet Franc
8% Syrah/Shiraz
Region Chianti Classico, Tuscany
Winemaker Paolo De Marchi
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%