Paolo di Marchi has run Isole e Olena since the age of 20. The flagship wine at Isole e Olena is Cepparello, a barrique-aged Sangiovese. Paolo planted a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1980’s so the estate would not be entirely dependent on Sangiovese. Little did he know that the Cabernet would later rival Cepparello in both quality and critical acclaim.
The 1997 Isole e Olena Cabernet “Collezione di Marchi” is now 15 years of age yet it is still dark purple at it’s core and just starting to fade on the edge of the glass. The nose is full of complex scents of cedar, pencil, leather and black fruits. Cassis, currants, tobacco, cigar box, mineral and dark fruit flavors wash over the palate. Great acidity and a long, elegant finish. A majestic wine, almost a hybrid of Napa and the Left Bank. This would be a great ringer in a Pauillac tasting.
My rating: 92 points.
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