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 bright garnet in color. 14% ABV. Pop and pour but the wine opened up in the decanter. Black fruits, tar, asphalt, licorice, flowers and a hint of barnyard on the nose. Rich and full bodied with strong acidity. Black cherry, anise, leather, menthol and prunes on the palate. The finish is long and mouth coating. Coarse, drying tannins. Super, food friendly wine that paired brilliantly with chicken parmesan. Drink over the next 3-5 years.
My rating: 94 points.
The winery is firing on all cylinders and current vintages can be had for about $70. Look for the 2009 and 2010.
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