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Isole e Olena’s 2009 Chianti Classico

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This 50-hectare Tuscan estate was created in the 1950s by combining two farms, one called Isole and the other called Olena. It’s good to see their Chianti Classico returning to form after the lean and green 2008. The wine made a near-perfect match with the chicken recipe you’ll find after the jump.

Chianti Classico 2009, Isole e Olena ($27.80, 00515296)
A blend of Sangiovese (82%), Canaiolo (15%) and Syrah (3%). Fermented on the skins in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for around one week, with daily rack-and-returns and pump-overs. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked into old barrels and 4,000-litre botti and aged for about one year. 14% (!) ABV.
Textbook Chianti nose: black cherries and pits, tobacco, terra cotta, cedar, leather and a whiff of kirsch. Medium-bodied. Very dry, almost to the point of austerity but saved by the fruit, which is somehow both very present and elegantly reserved. Astringent tannins – like those in long-steeped tea – and souring acidity provide just enough structure. Long finish with lingering plum peel, wood (not oak) and minerals. Ready to go and probably not a keeper. Sangiovese lovers needn’t hesitate.

Based on a dish served at Antico Fattore in Florence, this recipe is adapted from one in Patricia Wells’s Trattoria.

Petti di Pollo alla Salvia

1. Separate the smaller pectoralis minor (aka tenderloin, finger) from each of 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and save for another use. Marinate the breasts and 12 large fresh sage leaves (or 4 rosemary branches) in 1 1/2 tablespoons each lemon juice and olive oil for 1–3 hours.
2. Remove the breasts and sage from the marinade and pat dry. Save the marinade.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons each olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter foam subsides, slip in the breasts and fry about 4 minutes a side. When you turn the breasts, tuck the sage leaves into the fat beside and between the them. Remove the sage when crisp and brown but not burned.
4. Remove the breasts to a cutting board. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cut crosswise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices. Transfer to warmed plates.
5. Discard the fat in the skillet. Return the skillet to the burner and turn the heat to medium high. Pour in the marinade and, if necessary a little cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a syrup, scraping the bottom of the pan to free any caramelized adherences. Spoon immediately over the chicken and garnish with the sage leaves.

Two servings

Written by carswell

August 22, 2012 at 09:41

Posted in Recipes, Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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