The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed, then fermented in thermoregulated stainless steel tanks, with ten days of maceration on the skins. The wine matures for twelve months in a mix of French and American oak barrels, of which 25% are new. In the glass, the Collezione Privata Syrah 2018 has a glass-staining deep purple color, with flashes of ruby just at the edge. Penetrating aromas of sun-warmed blackberry preserves, Moraiola olives, and freshly cut irises, along with fleeting suggestions of sugared bacon, black licorice, sage, and cuoio fiorentino (the fine Florentine leather always called to mind in the aromatics of great Tuscan wine) move in and out of the foreground as the wine evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is powerful and sapid, at the same time supple and elegant, with a dense core of sweet black-fruit flavors seasoned with saline galestro minerality, and an exuberant, pristine finish punctuated by silky, fine-grained tannins. Stylistically, the wine is cunningly beautiful. It draws you in with calmness and candor. And then you realize that even though the voice is clearly Syrah, the language is pure, resonant Toscana. Drink now–2032.
About this wine producer: In the 1970’s, Paolo De Marchi came to the Isole e Olena estate, which his family had previously purchased in the Chianti Classico region of Italy. Since this time, Paolo has extensively replanted the approximately 50 hectares (125 acres) of vineyards, based on his experimentation regarding planting density, soil composition, and clonal selection. A key aspect of Paolo’s success is his desire to incorporate scientific research with the traditions of the region. This allows him to produce high quality grapes and wines that express the true character of Tuscany. Today, Paolo De Marchi is known worldwide for his Chianti Classico wines and his iconic Cepparello, made from 100% Sangiovese. He also produces exceptional wines from his plantings of “international” varieties. As with his Sangiovese-based wines, Paolo’s Isole e Olena Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay varietal wines demonstrate both the characteristics of the grapes, as well as the influence of the Tuscan terroir.