The 1997 Cepparello was the leading vote getter in the October installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine garnered a score of 96 points from the Wine Spectator and was wine #3 in the Wine Spectator top 100 of 1999. The bottle was decanted for 30 minutes and and paired with homemade pizza.
Paolo di Marchi has run Isole e Olena since the age of 20. Paolo avoids the Cabernet Sauvignon many of his neighbors have begun to incorporate into their Chiantis, believing it overshadows the Sangiovese. The flagship wine at Isole e Olena is Cepparello, a barrique-aged Sangiovese classified as an IGT – because at the time of its creation in the 1980s, a wine comprising 100% Sangiovese could not legally be labelled as Chianti.
A beautiful garnet in color with some bricking at the edges. The wine smells of tart, dried cherries, currants, and leather. The palate is exquisite with roses, violets, asphalt, tar, stone and dried fruits like cranberries, cherries and plums. The fruit is still vibrant and finish is long with gorgeous dusty tannins. What sets this wine apart is the great acidity. This wine does justice to the 97 vintage and I will save my last bottle until it’s 20th “birthday” in 2017.
My rating: 95 points.
This wine was about $45 on release. The winery is still firing on all cylinders and current vintages can be had for about $70. Look for the 2007.
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