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.
Blood red in color. 14% ABV. Rustic nose of dried cherries, road tar, blood and wet pavement. Medium body with great acidity. Complex, powerful and brooding. Mint, plum and cherries on the palate. The finish is exquisite. Beautiful wine with fruit, tannins and acids all in a good spot. Well stored bottles should drink well for another 2-3 years.
My rating: 92 points.
The winery is firing on all cylinders and current vintages are readily available for about $75. Look for the 2013.
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