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.
Garnet in color. 13.5% ABV. Throwing some sediment. Fantastic nose of dark fruits, tar, lavender and anise. Medium body with strong acidity. Powerful and intense with a sense of grip on the palate. Flavors of dried, sour cherries, blood, currants and herbs. Tremendous length on the finish with course, drying tannins. Stunning old world Sangiovese that is gorgeous at 18 years of age. Cepparello is such a gem. Best over the next several years.
My rating: 93 points.
Cepparello is a world class wines that shows well upon release or can cellar for upwards of 20 years. Current vintages are readily available for about $70. Look for the 2015.