Wine Tasting of Isole e Olena at Salem Wine Imports
On April 23rd I attended a tasting of the wines of famous Tuscan producer Isole e Olena at Salem Wine Imports (in Salem, MA) with the North Shore Winers, which is a wine interest group organized by Richard of A Passionate Foodie. The wines were being poured by the famous Isole e Olena winemaker himself Paolo di Marchi. The laws governing how to label Tuscan wines are rather byzantine, having to do with the percentage of Sangiovese grapes and the percentage and types of other grapes, if any, included. There’s an interesting article about this here.
The most famous offering being poured was the highly regarded 2004 Cepparello, his 100% Sangiovese ‘Super-Tuscan’. He cannot label it as a Chianti Classico Reserva as it doesn’t have enough ‘other’ indigenous Tuscan grapes in it. This wine is refined with silky tannins, very enjoyable. Mr. di Marchi is an expert in Sangiovese grape clone selection. Also being poured were his Chardonnay, Chianti Classico, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. There were also a few other wines from the Piedmont in northern Italy that were outstanding. I picked up a bottle of the Chianti Classico (90 points Stephen Tanzer/IWC) and will enjoy with some Italian food some time soon, undoubtedly.
Salem Wine Imports is small, but has a carefully selected inventory of wines with emphasis on outstanding imports from Italy.
For detailed tasting notes, be sure to check Richard’s blog soon (he took notes – I didn’t). The tasting room was small, hot, and many people showed up to taste the famous producer’s offerings. Overall, a beautiful day in historic Salem.
Before I attended the tasting, I had some time to kill, so did a tour of the Salem Witch Museum. It’s more of a pre-recorded presentation in-the-round with scary dioramas of girls having hysteria, people being tried, pressed to death, and hung. 19 people were killed in Salem 1692 – but apparently hundreds of thousands of presumed witches in Europe were killed around the same time – where is their museum, I wonder? Next tasting in Salem I will allocate more time beforehand and visit the awesome Peabody Essex Museum.