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.
Crimson in color. 14% ABV. Breathtaking nose of red fruits, menthol, road tar and flowers. Medium to full bodied with exquisite acidity. Well structured and powerful. Cherries, licorice, blood and cocoa on the palate. The finish is long and seamless with formidable tannins. No telltale signs of the hot ’03 vintage. Gorgeous Sangiovese that should cruise to twenty years of age.
My rating: 95 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.