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. Stunning nose of red fruits, menthol, leather and wet asphalt. Medium body with strong acidity. Concentrated and powerful with a spellbinding rustic charm. Dried cherries, licorice, blood and tobacco leaves on the palate. The finish on the wine is tremendous with silky tannins in spades. Incredible Sangiovese that is aging brilliantly. I’ll leave my last bottle until 2024.
My rating: 96 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 $90. Look for the 2018.