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.
Ruby red in color. 14% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, wet asphalt and leather. Medium body with strong acidity. Rustic and savory. Dried cherries, cranberry, orange peel and earth on the palate. Nice length on the finish. Delightful Chianti that is supremely approachable now but will also cellar well for another several years.
My rating: 90 points.
One of the world’s great wine values at $25 per bottle. Buy accordingly.