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.
Rust in color with some bricking on the edge of the glass. 13.5% ABV. Dried red fruits, asphalt, iron and leather on the nose. Light body with medium acidity. At first taste the wine comes across as somewhat rustic. With time in the glass though a certain elegance emerges. Cherries dominate on the palate with secondary notes of tobacco and graphite. The finish is long and sweet with resolved tannins. Drink over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 92 points.
If you are looking to explore the wines of Tuscany, Isole e Olena in general and the Cepparello bottling in particular should be on your shopping list. Current vintages sell for approximately $70. Look for the 2009 and 2010.
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